Tampa Bay Bucccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston has, as most rookies will, endured his ups and downs through the first half of the season. In the first four games of his NFL career, the Florida State product threw seven interceptions as the Buccaneers quickly dropped to the cellar of the NFC South. However, Winston hasn't thrown an interception in the team's past three games, in which Tampa Bay has gone 2-1, and the team is now in position to get back to .500 if they can defeat the New York Giants this Sunday.
On Wednesday, Winston pointed to the veterans who have mentored him this season for his recent success on the field.
"I just feel like everybody is taking me up under their wing and just trying to help me out as much as possible," Winston said. "Our offensive line has been doing tremendous and Doug [Martin] has been carrying the load by his great runs. I believe we have just been playing all around great team football."
The Giants, who are coming off a heartbreaking 52-49 loss to the Saints, will need to utilize different schemes to get to the 2015 NFL Draft's No. 1 overall selection. Drew Brees passed for more than 500 yards against Big Blue's defense, which ranks dead last in the NFL in pass defense, allowing more than 315 yards through the air per game. However, Winston was quick to not discount New York's defense, calling the players in the secondary "outstanding."
"The Giants throw so many different things and variations of coverages and the guys playing in the secondary are outstanding players as well," Winston said. "Just got to stick to the game plan and try our best to convert on these guys."
Winston also spoke about getting his team back to .500. After a 1-3 start, the Buccaneers are 3-4 and despite still being at the bottom of the NFC South standings, are back in the thick of things. Although the NFC South seems like the Carolina Panthers' division title to lose, Tampa Bay is just two games behind the Minnesota Vikings in the Wild Card race. The Giants are just a half-game better than the Buccaneers in the win-loss column, but New York is in first place in the NFC East, so Winston knows that Sunday's contest against Big Blue is going to be a big battle.
"It’d be amazing just to get to .500, but you know we’re playing against a great team," Winston said of the Giants. "Obviously the leader in their division, so we know it’s going to be tough, but we have to come and play Buccaneer football."