Who likes Crab legs? I do, and so does Jameis Winston. Now that we have that out of the way, where do the Buccaneers go from here? The Buccaneers have a true Winston conundrum. On one hand, Jameis Winston had a great year; with 5,109 passing yards and 33 touchdown passes which lead the Buccaneers to 4th best averaging 28.6 points per game. Sign me up for that guy! Oh wait! Did we forget something? Unfortunately we did. Winston threw about 30 interceptions. Oh and don’t forget about the 12 fumbles, 5 of which were turnovers. 35 total turnovers and Winston wants 30 million per year? How could he possibly be worth that? As a result, the Buccaneers have a true Winston Conundrum?

Jason Licht and Bruce Arians have a tough decision to make. But should it really be that hard? Lets dive in and see for ourselves.

Carson Palmer’s Career under Arians

Bruce Arians has been called a quarterback whisperer. Yeah yeah I know here comes the haters. Jameis threw 30 interceptions this year. Bruce must not be the same coach he once was. Or is he? Lets look at the similarities between Winston and Palmer. Carson Palmer played quarterback when Bruce Arians was Head Coach of the Arizona Cardinals from 2013-2017.

Carson Palmer had a couple of good seasons under “no risk it no biscuit” Bruce. But lets not forget Carson Palmers first year under Bruce Arians. In 2013, Bruce Arians first year as Head Coach of the Arizona Cardinals, Carson Palmer threw for 4,274 yards, 24 touchdowns and 22 interceptions. No denying the similarities there. Both Winston and Palmer had good yardage and touchdown totals but interceptions were sky high.

How did Palmer follow up his Winston like first season under Arians? In 2014 he went 6-0 in an injury plagued season throwing for 1,626 yards, 11 touchdowns and 3 interceptions. Carson Palmer followed that up by throwing for 4,671 yards, 35 touchdowns and 11 interceptions in 2015. Carson Palmer had another nice season finishing with 4,233 yards, 26 touchdowns and 14 interceptions in 2016. Unfortunately, 2017 was another injury plagued year for Carson playing in only 7 games passing for 1,978 yards 9 touchdowns and 7 interceptions. As you can see it took Palmer some time to really grasp Arians system. Carson Palmer’s numbers give a bit of clarity to the Buccaneers Winston Conundrum. Carson Palmer’s interceptions fell dramatically after his first year which proves that giving Winston another year in the system is a good idea.

The running games affect on the Winston Conundrum

Can someone get Winston a running back! The Buccaneers averaged a poultry 95.1 yards a game this season. 2018 was much of the same with 95.2 average yards on the ground for the season. Do we have a trend? Yes we do, and that is the running game sucks in Tampa. Want to help a quarterback lower his interception total? Give Winston a running back that the defense actually has to game plan for. Defenses never stack the box against the Buccaneers and why should they? No disrespect, but names like Ronald Jones and Payton Barber aren’t striking fear into any defense.

The Defenses Affect on the Winston Conundrum

Unfortunately for The Buccaneers and Winston the running backs are not the only problem. Defense…defense…defense, where’s the defense? As impressive as the Buccaneers offense was putting up points, the defense was just as good allowing points. Remember that impressive 28.6 points scored by the offense. The defense allowed 28.1 points per game to be scored. Good enough for a fourth from dead last finish. With only Carolina, Miami and NY Giants having a worse year. Ouch! Buccaneers defense was clearly playing better towards the end of the year and looks poised to have a better year in 2020.

Buccaneers Winston Conundrum Solved

With all that being said Winston needs one more year of “no risk it no biscuit” Bruce. So what’s the solution to the Buccaneers Jameis Winston conundrum? First, the Buccaneers need to find Winston a running back who strikes fear into the defense. Second, give him another year to get comfortable in the offensive system. Third, the Buccaneers need to hope the defense continues to build on last years end of season momentum.

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Nicholas Cheney

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