Game Ball:** There were plenty of candidates on an evening in which the Buccaneers dominated in all three phases of the game while the starters were on the field. Appreciative nods go to WR Mike Evans, WR Adam Humphries, DE Jacquies Smith and – especially – K Roberto Aguayo, but this was Jameis Winston's night. The Buccaneers' second-year passer was not only sharp with his passes while compiling a 125.3 passer rating, but he consistently extended plays with his feet, as on his scrambling five-yard TD pass to RB Charles Sims in the first quarter. Winston's numbers in the first half – 16 of 25 for 259 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions – would be acceptable full-game numbers on a night that everything was working for the home team.
Pictures from the Buccaneers' preseason matchup with the Browns.
Play of the Game:** The Bucs already had the game – or at least the battle of starters before halftime – well in hand midway through the second quarter, as they built a 20-3 lead. Winston's 34-yard touchdown pass to Evans therefore may not have made a huge difference to the outcome, but it was perhaps the most impressive piece of work during a great night for the passing attack. Winston, who had started the drive with a perfect lob down the sideline to Evans for 47 yards, enjoyed outstanding protection, finding Evans late but immediately firing a pass to his 6-5 pass-catcher. Evans used all of that size to pluck the ball out of the air over the Cleveland defender and carry him two more yards into the end zone.
Turning Point:** The Bucs scored on their first two drives but had just a seven-point lead in the first quarter when the Tampa Bay defense forced a three-and-out and the game's first punt. Cleveland's Andy Lee blasted a 52-yard kick that Humphries fielded at the Bucs' 27-yard line before immediately cutting to his right. Humphries' blockers sealed off the edge and he made it around a mass of tacklers without being touched. The second-year receiver then turned on the Jets, out-running one would-be Cleveland tackler and zipping by a seemingly-uninterested Lee in the final 20 yards. The Bucs took a 17-3 lead on the play on the way to a 27-3 advantage in the second quarter.
It Was Over When: Jacquies Smith sacked Griffin on third-and-11 three plays into the second quarter. That came just a few plays after Humphries' long return made it 17-3, and it kept the Browns from answering with a score of their own to keep it close. Instead, Winston led two more scoring drives to widen the lead to 24 points and the Buccaneers never looked back.