Bucs Overcome Turnovers, Win 38-35 Shootout vs. Colts
TAMPA, Fla. - The Tampa Bay Buccaneers made it three straight wins with a 38-35 comeback victory over the Indianapolis Colts at Raymond James Stadium on Sunday.
Three interceptions from quarterback Jameis Winston threatened to end Tampa Bay's modest winning streak, but despite leaving the game for a drive due to an injury to his throwing hand, Winston threw four touchdown passes and ran for another to lead the Bucs to a huge home win.
Winston set a new personal best with 456 yards through the air, despite playing the entire second half without Mike Evans, who left the game with a hamstring injury in the second quarter.
After the game, Bucs head coach Bruce Arians made it clear Evans' injury was considered significant, admitting he would be surprised if his star receiver returned before the end of the season.
In Evans' absence, the Bucs got huge contributions from the rest of their pass-catchers, and not just Chris Godwin, who led the team with seven receptions for 91 yards. Justin Watson caught five passes for 59 yards and his first career touchdown, while Breshad Perriman added 70 yards on three receptions, including what would end up being the game-winning touchdown.
O.J. Howard finished second on the team with 73 yards on four receptions, while Cameron Brate was one of four different receivers to catch a touchdown pass from Winston.
The Tampa Bay defense gave up plenty of big plays, but they made just enough of their own in the game's final minutes to put their team in position to win. Rookies Devin White and Mike Edwards teamed up for a key takeaway in the red zone to stop a potential scoring drive, and after Winston threw his third interception of the game just a couple of plays later, they held the Colts to a field goal attempt that bounced off the upright.
Winston's 456 passing yards were a new career-high, and the third-highest single-game total in franchise history. That feat was even more impressive considering Winston suffered a small fracture in the thumb on his throwing hand that forced him to miss the first drive of the second half.
Despite the victory, and an impressive three game winning streak, the 6-7 Bucs were still eliminated from playoff contention by the Minnesota Vikings' win over the Detroit Lions.