Jameis Winston’s debut generates big ratings in Tampa

AP

The Buccaneers have been struggling to fill seats at Raymond James Stadium for several years. On Saturday night, they had no trouble filling local TV screens with eyeballs.

Via JoeBucsFan.com, the preseason opener against the Vikings had a peak rating of 16.1 in Tampa with a 26 share. This means that 16.1 percent of all local TVs, on or off, were tuned in for the game, and that 26 percent of all TVs that were turned on were tuned to the Buccaneers-Vikings game.

On average for the full contest, the rating was 12.1 with a 22 share.

Winston played the entire first half, handling eight drives. It took him a while to get going, with a game-opening three-and-out ending on a badly overthrown short pass to tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins (who was double covered) and a second drive featuring a bad throw behind receiver Mike Evans (who had plenty of open space in front of him) and a wobbly throw on third down that was nearly picked off.

The third time was more of a charm, when after taking a sack and then scrambling away from trouble on second down Winston found receiver Vincent Jackson deep on the right side of the field, after Jackson blew by Vikings rookie cornerback Trae Waynes. A couple of plays later, Winston rolled right and found receiver Louis Murphy for a 10-yard gain, before the drive ended with a field goal.

The next possession died  quickly with an overthrown pass in the right seam cleanly picked off by Vikings safety Antone Exum Jr.  Another turnover nearly followed after a shotgun snap over Winston’s head on third down.

Then it all settled down for Winston, who strung together five straight completions (the first three were high-percentage short passes) and connected three consecutive times with Murphy before scrambling for a touchdown. Sure, Winston dove head first into the end zone, conjuring memories of Johnny Manziel’s preseason recklessness in 2014. While that kind of stuff eventually will get a quarterback injured, Winston didn’t get injured on that play.

The half nearly ended with some fireworks from Winston, who uncorked a Hail Mary pass from midfield into the end zone that actually had a chance to be caught. If so, it would have been the highlight and the headline of the weekend.

The real question is whether Winston will be generating highlights and headlines four Mondays from now and beyond, when the games count.

37 responses to “Jameis Winston’s debut generates big ratings in Tampa

  1. I dunno. He looked about as good – and as bad – as I would expect a rookie to look in his first NFL game action. And I say this as a guy who has no love for Jameis.

    The bigger story, IMO is that after 2 preseason games the Vikings look ready to make a big jump this year. Zimmer’s program has taken hold and they are looking more legit right now than they have in years.

  2. “On Saturday night, they had no trouble filling local TV screens with eyeballs.”

    That’s because people love to see a 100 car pile up.
    I have to admit, I’m going to enjoy watching the second coming of JaMarcus Russell.

  3. So, all he has to do in order to be successful is play against 2nd stringers and rookie corners. Easy!

    All kidding aside, any rookie QB is going to be a trainwreck most of the time. He may learn, but it’s going to come with a lot of INT’s and mistakes this season.

  4. I have to admit, I’m going to enjoy watching the second coming of JaMarcus Russell.
    ————————————————————-
    First, he has to hit the buffet before he can become the second coming of Russell.

  5. I watched that game. They kept him in there for most of the first half and he looked terrible. I’m really starting to think he just might be another JaMarcus Russell, he looked lost out there…

  6. gtodriver says:
    Aug 17, 2015 9:18 AM
    It was all the Viking fans that have moved to Tampa watching the Vikings… 

    ———————————————————

    I live in Tampa, and there were hardly any Vikings fans to be found when they came down for a regular season game last year. A couple of my best friends living here are Vikings fans, from Minnesota, and wouldn’t even go watch the Vikings game here, they were even being offered 100 level tickets for $30 and still wouldn’t go.

    But, I can tell you who did show up: Packers fans. When they came the stadium was at least 70% Packers fans, most of the parking lots were Packers fans tailgate partying, they even had their own big traveling Packers fans party the night before the game.

  7. Bridgewater looked great!
    Like Winston, he was ranked most pro ready.
    Teddy is way smarter, though.
    –he ranked his pro-day so he could fall to the Vikings and Adruan Pererson. What rookie wouldn’t want a safety net like that?

  8. Bridgewater looked great!
    Like Winston, he was ranked most pro ready.
    Teddy is way smarter, though.
    –he TANKED his pro-day so he could fall to the Vikings and Adrian Peterson. What rookie wouldn’t want a safety net like that?

  9. Hey Bucs fans, don’t get too excited about that big pass to Vincent Jackson. CB Trae Waynes once again blew big coverage as he’s been doing all preseason, and is on pace to be a major bust …

  10. Purplehaze28 said: “Bridgewater looked great!
    Like Winston, he was ranked most pro ready.
    Teddy is way smarter, though.”

    I think you’re in a purple haze indeed. Bridgewater is a superior QB to Winston, but intelligence is not the reason why. In fact, Winston’s superior IQ has always been lauded, and he scored a lot higher on the Wonderlic than Teddy’s average score of “20.” (Only Mariota scored higher than Winston in this year’s testing.)

    The reasons Teddy Bridgewater is the far better QB are, unlike Winston, he is a true team-first leader that his teammates can look up to. Bridgewater’s emotional maturity is also far beyond Winston’s. One is a man, the other is a child.

  11. I watched on TV to see the start of the train wreck, and I wasn’t disappointed. Everyone who billed this kid as an NFL-ready football genius is either making excuses or eating crow.

    Winston already looked lost and confused, exactly like the second coming of Josh Freeman, and he won’t get as much time to throw once the regular season starts and defensive coordinators start throwing their best stunts and blitzes against that sieve of an offensive line.

    There will be an epic meltdown once the fans and media realize that he can’t play and turn on him.

  12. Anyone surprised by that game obviously hasn’t been following Jameis Winston’s career very closely.

    One of the biggest knocks against him has always been that the only reason he has so many highlight reel comeback wins in his career is that he was constantly putting his team into holes through his terrible first half play. If you look at his 1st half/2nd half splits at FSU, it’s very obvious.

    He’s a slow starter and obviously that’s not changing anytime soon. Bucs fans better stock up on the alka-seltzer.

  13. I see a lot of Jay Cutler in Winston. A bunch of arm talent but also some pretty severe accuracy issues and an alarming tendency to turn the ball over a lot. Also the slow-starter thing as another poster said. It’s almost like they try to get their team in a hole so they are forced to throw their way out of it.

  14. It’s pretty tough at this stage to judge much of anything — Winston is a rookie just learning the ropes, was under quite a bit of pressure, and he didn’t succeed until he was playing against the Vikings’ second team.

    While the 2 wins are encouraging for the Vikes, who knows for sure what will happen. If the O-line doesn’t improve/stay healthy, we’ll never get a chance to see how good the skill position players are.

  15. As a Vikings fan I think having one game in the books was a big advantage heading into this game. I think JW looked more comfortable as the game went on, and really made some plays once the 3rd team D was in the game.

    There is potential there, but I hope people aren’t judging him off of 1 preseason start against a team that had been in camp 2 weeks longer and had already played 1 game.

    There is a lot of hype around this kid, and I hate when QB’s are pushed into starting jobs the day they are drafted, I just don’t think it is the best option for their long term development.

  16. Jameis played like a rookie – SHOCKER. He’s going to be a great QB in this league and it might not take that long.

    Now the rest of the Bucs? Well…that’s a work in progress.

  17. he looked awful. Those 5 straight completions on that drive were against 2nd stringers (Bucs still had 1st team) when they were in a prevent. Obviously TB needed him still out there to try and salvage his bad performance (4-14 80 yards, INT, two mishandled snaps) so that wasn’t the narrative. And guess what? It worked. Because people aren’t talking so much about what a disaster it was.

  18. canetic says:
    Aug 17, 2015 10:59 AM

    He’s got a long slow wind-up. You don’t last long in the NFL with that kind of throwing motion.

    Exactly!!! That’s what my friends and I couldn’t help but notice watching the game, his delivery can be timed with a sun-dial. DB’s are going to feast on his passes if he doesn’t improve his delivery. This isn’t college anymore, he’s in the NFL now with the big boys!

  19. All-American Voltron says:

    Hey Bucs fans, don’t get too excited about that big pass to Vincent Jackson. CB Trae Waynes once again blew big coverage as he’s been doing all preseason, and is on pace to be a major bust …
    *********************
    This kind of comment is what you get when someone doesn’t know the play call.

    Per Coach Zimmer in regards to the pass to Vincent Jackson – Waynes had the underneath coverage and Robert Blanton was responsible for the over the top coverage.

    Blanton screwed up, not Waynes.

    Now I’m not saying that Waynes has looked like an All Pro (rookie corners rarely do in the preseason) yet, but he definitely looked improved over the Steeler game.

  20. bonesawisready says:

    I live in Tampa, and there were hardly any Vikings fans to be found when they came down for a regular season game last year. A couple of my best friends living here are Vikings fans, from Minnesota, and wouldn’t even go watch the Vikings game here, they were even being offered 100 level tickets for $30 and still wouldn’t go.
    *********************************
    Just because YOUR best friends wouldn’t pay $30.00 for those tickets, doesn’t mean anything.

    You might need some better friends…

    As to Packer fans attending games in Tampa Bay… Well the game was in December and there is nothing to do in Green Bay if the Packers aren’t there…:D

  21. He’s already better than RG3, Daunte Culpepper, Mike Vick, Geno Smith, and of course the most overrated QB in the history of the NFL: Teddy Bustwater!

    Vikings are the dumpster fire of the NFL.

  22. 1st game in the NFL. He had his moments which is about what you would expect. Most plays came against 2nd stringers. I hope he turns out OK for TB

  23. Lord, give the kid a chance. I have no love for Winston but it was the kid’s first pre-season game. Can’t get over how many people in this thread are essentially (or sometimes literally) calling him a bust.

  24. bonesawisready says:
    Aug 17, 2015 10:06 AM
    I live in Tampa, and there were hardly any Vikings fans to be found when they came down for a regular season game last year. A couple of my best friends living here are Vikings fans, from Minnesota, and wouldn’t even go watch the Vikings game here, they were even being offered 100 level tickets for $30 and still wouldn’t go.

    But, I can tell you who did show up: Packers fans. When they came the stadium was at least 70% Packers fans, most of the parking lots were Packers fans tailgate partying, they even had their own big traveling Packers fans party the night before the game.
    //////////////////////////////////////////

    Thanks for the insight. I always knew the Packer fans traveled better than any other fanbase. It’s great when the facts are acknowledged.

  25. huh… must have been piped in noise from the buccaneers of all the ‘lets go vikings!’ chants I heard in the game last year, and a nice CG superimpose of all those purple jerseys in the stands.

    hey whatjusthappened, you do know the vikings have the best defense in the division don’t you? imagine what Winston could do against a mediocore defense like green bays.

  26. Jameis was a small part of the numbers more people just wanted to see the Purple Soul play. 2 games big numbers.

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