Quarterback Jameis Winston becomes the second Buccaneer to win Player of the Week honors this season, nabbing the NFC Offensive Player of the Week award for his performance on the road against the Los Angeles Rams. Winston threw for 385 yards and four touchdowns. His 68% completion rate helped him to a 120.5 passer rating, his best of the season so far.
Winston's performance has been on a steady incline since Week One, where he struggled in his first game in Head Coach Bruce Arians' system. In fairness too, the San Francisco 49ers and their defensive front of first-round picks are the only unbeaten team in the NFC, currently. Translation: they're better than anyone thought they'd be this season, making the loss to them maybe not sting as much.
Back to Winston, who just opened his second 'Dream Room' with his Dream Forever Foundation on his off day on Tuesday at Twin Lakes Elementary in Tampa. Let's take a look at his on-field performances:
Week One: 20/36, 194 yards, 1 TD, 3 INTs, 45.4 rating
Week Two: 16/25, 208 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT, 103.4 rating
Week Three: 23/37, 380 yards, 3 TDs, 1 INT, 112.4 rating
Week Four: 28/41, 385, 4 TDs, 1 INT, 120.5 rating
See that? A very steady incline in performance week-by-week, which is exactly what you want out of your quarterback that's getting used to a new system.
"It's continued growth," Coach Arians said of Winston's performance. "It wasn't an indictment because he threw an interception – we were just gaining five yards a clip [in the running game] against the Giants, so why not keep it up? I thought the red zone was the biggest difference in this one – third down and red zone. It was 62 percent – whatever it was – on third down – he played great on third down. The red zone – five out of six – that's the difference in the ball game."
Winston has the fifth-most passing yards through four games in the league, currently, and is tied with Dallas' Dak Prescott for the fourth-most touchdown passes. He had the longest pass of Week Four with his 67-yard bomb to Mike Evans, which Evans LeBronned into the end zone.
When asked what the difference seems to be in Winston, Arians put it simply:
"He's just growing in the offense," Arians said. "I think Byron [Leftwich] and Clyde [Christensen] are doing a great job with him, fundamentally and mentally. I don't know if anybody's played better the last three weeks than he has, and the numbers should bear it – we put a lot of points up. You jump out 21-0, you get the crowd out of it and then you just keep playing. The one thing I kept preaching was, 'Keep scoring, keep going after it,' because I knew the Rams were going to score some points."
Winston is also up for the FedEx Air Player of the Week, you can vote below.