A pair of fumbles went the wrong way for the Buccaneers on Sunday and as a result, they dropped a game they probably should've won against the Carolina Panthers. In the aftermath, Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston went crazy on the sideline, presumably because he thought the officials incorrectly awarded the final fumble to the Panthers.
The fumbles occurred on consecutive offensive plays with under a minute to play. The first came on the Panthers' go-ahead touchdown when Cam Newton dropped the shotgun snap before scooping up the loose ball and plowing his way into the end zone on a designed quarterback run.
But time still remained for Winston to get the Buccaneers into range to kick a tying field goal. Instead, on the first play, Winston got stripped on a sack. After a huge pile formed, Winston emerged from the cluster of bodies with the ball, but the officials had already awarded possession to the Panthers.
Winston went ballistic.
Jameis Winston is going crazy. pic.twitter.com/v4jAYOqQFb— Kevin Marchina (@kg_holler) December 24, 2017
Winston emotional on the sidelines pic.twitter.com/66aQMPwSK2— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) December 24, 2017
This photo, with Winston still holding onto the ball while teammates hold him back, perfectly captures the moment:
The officials would flag Winston for unsportsmanlike conduct -- not that it mattered much. Once Winston gave up possession, the game was essentially over and.
Winston has given his critics plenty of ammunition this season -- from his erratic play to NFL quarterbacks to be passionate about winning? There is, however, a line, and I think most people would say that Winston crossed the line there.-- and there's no doubt that the incident above isn't a good look. But one could also look at the incident above as a demonstration of Winston's passion. And don't we all want
The thing is, Winston actually played well as a passer during the loss, going 21 of 27 for 367 yards, a touchdown and a 131.1 passer rating. But once again, the turnover bug bit him. He lost three fumbles, all of which ended up being costly. His first fumble led to a Panthers field goal, his second fumble was lost inside the red zone and led to another Carolina field goal, and his third fumble ended up being the Buccaneers' final offensive play.
The Buccaneers, who entered the year with playoff aspirations, are now 4-11. They'll have one final chance to serve as spoilers when they take on the Saints in their season finale.