Jameis Winston opens game with back-to-back INTs, ends it with his fourth of the game

Jack Baer

Jameis Winston celebrated the revelation that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will likely let him keep his job next year by doing exactly what Jameis Winston does. Throwing an ungodly amount of interceptions in a competitive game.

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The Bucs quarterback opened Saturday’s game against the Houston Texans with a pick-six to cornerback Bradley Roby on the second play from scrimmage. While Winston was aiming for wide receiver Ishmael Hyman, Roby quite easily jumped the route and grabbed the hovering pass.

It was the fifth time in the Bucs’ last seven games that Winston had thrown an interception on the opening drive. Three more interceptions would follow in a 23-20 Buccaneers loss.

To be fair, it should be noted that Winston is playing Saturday without his two Pro Bowl receivers, as Mike Evans is on injured reserve and Chris Godwin was ruled out before the game with a hamstring injury.

The next pick came three plays later, when Winston rifled a pass straight to linebacker Justin Reid. Reid returned the interception for a touchdown, but the score was called back on a blindside block penalty.

Somewhat surprisingly, that was the first time Winston had thrown game-opening back-to-back picks, per ESPN’s Sarah Barshop.

Winston would add his third pick early in the second quarter, missing Breshad Perriman and hitting Johnathan Joseph instead. That gave him his fifth three-pick game of the season, the most since Eli Manning in 2013.

That play made some history for Joseph as well, giving him the most career interceptions in Texans history with 17.

The final interception sealed the game for the Texans. With the Buccaneers driving for the win and the Texans looking banged up, Winston had another route jumped on a short pass. Jahleel Addae hauled in the pass, and the game was effectively over.

Those four interceptions boost Winston’s season total to a league-leading 28, and Winston seems officially on track to post the first 30-touchdown, 30-interception season in league history.

All he needs is two interceptions, which is basically what he’s averaging this season, against the Atlanta Falcons in Week 17 to reach 30 for the season, a mark that hasn’t been reached since Vinny Testaverde’s 35 in 1988.

History awaits.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston (3) throws a pass against the Houston Texans during the first half of an NFL football game Saturday, Dec. 21, 2019, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Mark LoMoglio)
Jameis Winston is making all kinds of bad history. (AP Photo/Mark LoMoglio)

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