The Tampa Bay Buccaneers hope they turned the corner during a busy month of November, winning three of five games to gain a position of relevance in the upcoming playoff stretch drive. Eventually, November of 2015 might be seen as the month in which rookie quarterback Jameis Winston turned the corner as well.
At the very least, Winston will have something shiny to remember the month by, as he has been named the NFL's Offensive Rookie of the Month for November. He is the first Buccaneer to win a rookie of the month award since Mike Glennon also took home November honors in 2013.
Winston started all five of those November games and completed 96 of 169 passes (56.8%) for 1,179 yards, seven touchdowns and three interceptions. He also ran 15 times for 75 yards and three more touchdowns in that span. Most importantly, of course, the Buccaneers logged three wins in November, including critical road victories in Atlanta and Philadelphia.
In those three wins, Winston completed 58.8% of his passes, threw for 229 yards per game, tossed six touchdown passes against two interceptions and ran for two more scores. His combined passer rating in those three games was an impressive 92.6. In a 45-17 win at Philadelphia in Week 11, Winston tied an NFL rookie record by throwing five touchdown passes, and was just the second rookie ever to do so in a game in which he also was not intercepted.
Though it isn't reflected in the statistics, Winston also emerged rather noticeably as a team leader during the month of November. Under his steady guidance, the Buccaneers put up 373.6 yards per game during the month, the 11th-best team average in the NFL in that span.
Winston is the eighth Tampa Bay player to win an Offensive Rookie of the Month award. Fullback Mike Alstott was the first to do so, in 1996, followed by running back Warrick Dunn in 1997 and quarterback Shaun King in 1999. Running back Cadillac Williams then took the award home twice in 2005 and running backs LeGarrette Blount and Doug Martin got it once each in 2010 and 2012, respectively. The Bucs also have one Defensive Rookie of the Month award in their coffers, courtesy of Lavonte David in November of 2012. The league no longer gives out a Special Teams Player of the Month award, but WR/KR Karl Williams won one in 1996.