49ers fumble away scoring chance, Bucs up 7-6 at half

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The Buccaneers want Jameis Winston to make better decisions and throw fewer interceptions this season, but his first giveaway of the year came with mitigating circumstances.

Winston put the ball into tight end O.J. Howard‘s hands late in the second quarter of Sunday’s game against the 49ers, but Howard couldn’t catch it and linebacker Mark Nzeocha came up with the pick. That set the 49ers up inside the Buccaneers’ 30-yard-line, but they couldn’t capitalize because rookie Deebo Samuel fumbled the ball away after catching a pass.

It’s been a sloppy game all around thus far as Jimmy Garoppolo was intercepted for a touchdown by cornerback Vernon Hargreaves, Howard also lost a fumble and the teams have had five apparent touchdowns wiped out by penalties between them. The 49ers have seven penalties overall, including a penalty on linebacker Kwon Alexander for lowering his head to initiate contact with Winston’s head. Alexander was ejected for that infraction.

While Winston wasn’t to blame for that interception, he’s had a shaky half overall and only completed 8-of-16 passes before the second quarter came to an end. We’ll see if things are any crisper after the break in Tampa.