Jameis Winston gets Benched
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers were defeated by the Cincinnati Bengals 37-34 Sunday afternoon at Paul Brown Stadium. The Bucs were down 34-16 after Bengals defensive back Jesse Bates returned Jameis Winston’s fourth interception of the day for a touchdown. Winston was benched Ryan Fitzpatrick came in with 2:10 remaining in the third quarter. Fitzpatrick rallied the Buccaneers (3-4) to a 34-34 tie with a pair of touchdown passes, including his 18-yard toss to tight end O.J. Howard with 1:05 left. However, it was not enough.
“I can’t find a common factor,” Winston explained after the game, via the Tampa Bay Times‘ Rick Stroud. “My main thing right now is finding a solution to eliminate them. I know I’m definitely the reason we came up short in this game and I own that. And I have to fix it. There’s not much that I can really say.”
Monday, Tampa Bay Head Coach Dirk Koetter announced Fitzpatrick will start this week’s game at Carolina.
Panthers and Newton Dominate Ravens
The Carolina Panthers walked over the Baltimore Ravens 36-21 at Bank of America Stadium in Uptown Charlotte. Quarterback Cam Newton completed 21/29 passes for 219 yards and two touchdowns. The signal-caller from Westlake high school added 52 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown in the fourth quarter.
“We present a lot of issues for defenses and that is what this offense was kind of built for,” Newton said. “We have dynamic players all around the field.”
This season, Newton has thirteen touchdowns and only thrown four interceptions.
“A lot has to do with the people around him. I think right now, we’re protecting him as well as we’ve ever protected him,” said Carolina Panthers Head Coach Ron Rivera Monday. “He’s making just as good decisions as he did in 2015, but just in a different way. And he’s got a great set of weapons around him. I think we’re playing well as a team right now in all three phases, and I think that helps.”
Saints 30, Vikings 20
The New Orleans Saints marched to a 30-20 victory over the Minnesota Vikings Sunday Night at U.S. Bank Stadium. The manner in which the Saints got the win was unorthodox.
Quarterback Drew Brees completed 18/23 passes for 120 yards and one touchdown, to former Norcross High School standout, Alvin Kamara on the opening drive of the game. The difference of the game was the pick-six Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins threw to Saints defensive back P.J. Williams. Williams returned the interception 45 yards for a touchdown, making it 27-13 New Orleans. It marred an otherwise great night for Cousins as he completed 31/41 passes for 359 yards, two touchdowns and the aforementioned interception.
In a turnabout of emotions, the Saints returned to the site that saw their 2017 season end in dramatic fashion. Cornerback Marcus Williams was the culprit on that January afternoon, as his missed tackle on Minnesota wide-receiver Stefon Diggs spelled defeat for the Who Dat Nation. However, Sunday night Williams received the game ball.
Williams’s grandfather, Richard Glennon Boyd, died of cancer on Tuesday. Boyd was 79.
“I know he’s proud,” Williams said. “He told me he was proud of me before he left and I know he’s still looking down on me and watching over my shoulder.”
In Week nine, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will face the Carolina Panthers in Charlotte this Sunday at 1:00 PM. The Atlanta Falcons return from their bye week and take on the Washington Redskins at FedEx Field, this Sunday at 1:00 PM. Lastly, the New Orleans Saints host the undefeated Los Angeles Rams at 4:25 PM at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.