Jameis Winston takes huge step forward in win over Falcons

Jameis Winston was selected with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and there have already been quite a few ups and downs. He took a huge step forward today by leading his team to a huge 23-20 victory on the road against the Atlanta Falcons.

Heading into the game, the Falcons were 6-1 on the season and one of the best teams in the NFC. Winning that type of a game is a huge leap in the right direction for the Buccaneers’ franchise and their new franchise quarterback. Winston took care of the football and did just enough to get his team in the position to pull off the win in overtime.

Throughout the entire game, Winston ended up completing 16 of his 29 pass attempts for 177 yards, a touchdown and no interceptions. He also picked up 24 yards and a touchdown on just three carries.

At 21 years old, Winston has quite a bit of pressure on his shoulders from a franchise that has desperately needed a quarterback to lead them out of their rebuilding process.

Coming out of Florida State, there were a lot of question marks about whether or not Winston could be that type of a guy. He had some character issues with the Seminoles, but Lovie Smith and management decided that his talent was worth the risk. Tampa Bay took a gamble and seeing it pay off in this kind of win has to relive quite a bit of stress.

Leadership was one word that could sum up the performance that Winston put together today. He may not have put up massive numbers, but he led his team and was able to make the plays necessary to put his teammates in the position to force overtime and ultimately come away with their third win of the season.

Tampa Bay isn’t quite to the point where they will compete for a playoff spot, but they aren’t terribly far away anymore either.

Doug Martin is beginning to find his game against and the improved play and leadership of Winston will help propel them forward as well. If he can build off of this huge win and continue taking the steps to become a star for the Buccaneers, the franchise will be well on their way to getting back into the postseason.

Expect to see this be a major stepping stone for Winston and to see him continue showing signs of improvement for the rest of the season.

About Evan Massey

Evan Massey is a sportswriter that has been in the industry for the past six years. He has seen his work featured on Sports Illustrated, Yahoo! Sports, ESPN and Bleacher Report. Known for his work ethic and ability to cover any league and team, Evan is always willing to talk sports with fans and debate any topic. Follow him on Twitter at @Massey_Evan, or email him: emasseysports@gmail.com.