Tampa Bay Sports Day

BUCS: Tampa Bay Records Eight Sacks in 30-13 Preseason Win

Tampa Bay quarterback Jameis Winston threw for 259 yards and two touchdowns in the first half, leading the Bucs’ to a 30-13 NFL preseason win over the Cleveland Browns on Friday night at Raymond James Stadium.

On the opening drive of the game, Winston led a seven-play, 47-yard drive that lasted 2:25, ending in a 48-yard made field goal by rookie kicker Roberto Aguayo. Aguayo finished the game 3-for-3 on both field goals and extra points.

“We went no-huddle the whole first half. And it worked. Jameis Winston came out on fire, made some beautiful plays. Of course our defense was unreal – five sacks in the first half. Special teams, our coverage teams, our return team – gorgeous, gorgeous play on the punt return by [wide receiver] Adam [Humphries]. [Kicker] Roberto [Aguayo] of course [had a] huge night,” said Bucs’ head coach Dirk Koetter. “Not just the field goals, but the kickoffs. The only thing that could’ve made it better is we could’ve scored more touchdowns in the red zone and the second half on offense we were sloppy. But other than that, we did a good job.”

The Buccaneers second drive of the game went 82 yards in 13 plays, taking up 5:36, culminating in a three-yard touchdown pass from Winston to running back Charles Sims III. It was Sims’ first career preseason touchdown reception.

Winston threw his second touchdown of the night in the second quarter, connecting with Mike Evans on a 34-yard touchdown reception to cap a three-play, 85-yard drive that lasted 1:01. Evans also caught a 49-yard pass on the drive. He now has two touchdown receptions this preseason. He finished the game with five catches for 115 yards. He is the first Buccaneers player to record more than 100 receiving yards in a preseason game since 2011.

Winston finished the game completing 16-of-25 passes for 259 yards and two touchdowns, for a passer rating of 125.3. He now has four passing touchdowns this preseason, the most by a Buccaneers quarterback since 2007.

Dating back to 2000, Tampa Bay’s 305 yards of offense in the first half are the most the team has recorded in the preseason. It would be the second-most in a first half by the Buccaneers in any game since 1991, behind the 355 yards recorded at Philadelphia in the first half last season.

After a three-and-out from Cleveland following the Buccaneers’ first TD, Browns punter Andy Lee punted the ball 52 yards, to the Tampa Bay 27-yard line, where it was fielded by Humphries and returned 73 yards for a touchdown.

“It’s important to contribute to this team in any way I can,” Humphries said. “Obviously I’m going to do whatever the coaches ask me to do.”

The Bucs (2-1) led 27-3 before the Browns scored with 1:53 left in the half on a 43-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Robert Griffin III to receiver Josh Gordon, who made his preseason debut. He also had a 44-yard catch to set up a field goal for the Browns (0-3).

SACK SQUAD – The Buccaneers finished the game with eight sacks, the most they have recorded in a preseason game, dating back to 2000. It would rank as the third-most in a single game in regular season history. This preseason, Tampa Bay has 13 sacks through three games. That is the most that the team has totaled since 2011, when they registered 14.