The final play of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ season, the final play of Jameis Winston’s rookie contract, the last play he put in front of the world before he potentially starts looking for a new team, was a game-losing pick-6.
On the first snap of overtime, Winston took a short drop from shotgun, passed to his right, didn’t appear to have enough zip on his throw and it was intercepted by Deion Jones and returned 27 yards for the game-winner.
It wasn’t just that it led to the ninth loss of the season for Tampa Bay (and the seventh win of the season for Atlanta, which finished the season with four straight wins), it put Winston in two of the worst Clubs of One in sports:
He is the first player in NFL history with 30 touchdowns and 30 interceptions in one season.
He is the first player in NFL history with seven pick-6s in one season.
He also passed 5,000 yards for the season earlier in the game, the eighth quarterback to reach that mark.
And as it happened, the first pass as a rookie, back on Sept. 13, 2015, was also a pick-6.
Arians: ‘So much good, so much terrible’
As is his way, Tampa Bay head coach Bruce Arians didn’t mince words after the game when assessing Winston and his possible future with the team.
“There’s so much good and so much outright terrible,” Arians said.
He also said, “It doesn’t help,” when asked about Winston’s pick-6.
It’s still unclear whether the Buccaneers will keep Winston — he could be franchise tagged to get one more season with Arians, a highly regarded developer of quarterbacks who has publicly spoken positively of Winston throughout the season — so one other Arians statement postgame may be a hint of his status.
“You’re going home if you lead the league in giveaways,” he said. “We will not beat ourselves next year.”
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