Win­ston throws 4 TDs, sets NFL pass­ing mark

Orlando Sentinel - - SPORTS MONDAY - By Larry Lage

DETROIT — Jameis Win­ston is mak­ing quite a case to stay in Tampa Bay.

Win­ston be­came the first player in NFL his­tory to throw for 450 yards in con­sec­u­tive games, lead­ing the Tampa Bay Buc­ca­neers to a 38-17 win over the Detroit Lions on Sun­day.

He threw three touch­downs in the first half — four over­all — and a ca­reer-high 458 yards pass­ing one week af­ter throw­ing for 456 yards.

Even though both Tampa Bay and Detroit won’t reach their goals this sea­son, Win­ston made the most of his op­por­tu­nity to show the Buc­ca­neers they should give him a new con­tract when his deal ex­pires fol­low­ing the sea­son.

“I hope I helped my­self be­cause I def­i­nitely want to be here in Tampa,” he said.

Win­ston, play­ing with a small frac­ture in his right thumb, com­pleted 28 of 42 passes and set ca­reer highs with 221 yards pass­ing in the first quar­ter and 308 yards by half­time.

The No. 1 pick over­all in the 2015 draft from FSU did throw a league-high 24th in­ter­cep­tion on the open­ing pos­ses­sion, but he more than made up for the mis­cue.

The Buc­ca­neers (7-7) have won four straight and five of six, but their surge started too late for them to get in the play­off race.

“We’re try­ing to fin­ish off on a very, very pos­i­tive note,” first-year coach Bruce Ari­ans said. “It means a ton.”

Detroit (3-10-1) has dropped seven games in a row and 10 of 11, in­creas­ing the scru­tiny on em­bat­tled coach Matt Pa­tri­cia.

The Lions looked like they were still com­pet­ing for their coach, and them­selves, af­ter fall­ing be­hind 21-0 in the first half. Rookie run­ning back Wes Hills, who was signed Satur­day, ran for a sec­ond TD early in the fourth quar­ter in his NFL de­but to cut Tampa Bay’s lead to 24-17.

“The one thing that is con­sis­tent is the team fights,” Pa­tri­cia said. “They work hard, re­ally re­gard­less of who’s out there.”

The come­back hopes ended with a thud.

Sean Mur­phy-Bunt­ing re­turned an in­ter­cep­tion 70 yards for a score and a 14-point lead with 5:12 re­main­ing.

“Ul­ti­mately, [it] was kind of the dag­ger in the game,“Detroit quar­ter­back David Blough said af­ter mak­ing his third straight start in place of in­jured quar­ter­back Matthew Stafford.

Tampa Bay’s of­fen­sive line gave its quar­ter­back plenty of space to make plays.

Win­ston took ad­van­tage of time to throw to con­nect with UCF alum Bre­shad Per­ri­man for a 34-yard TD and Scotty Miller for a 33-yard score in the first quar­ter.

“He was drop­ping dimes as soon as we got out of the tun­nel,” said Per­ri­man, who set ca­reer highs with three TD re­cep­tions and 113 yards re­ceiv­ing.

Win­ston threw a 25-yard TD to Per­ri­man in the sec­ond quar­ter, keep­ing the team’s pass­ing game click­ing even with stand­out re­ceiver Mike Evans out with a ham­string in­jury.

Win­ston’s pace slowed in the sec­ond half in part be­cause re­ceiver Chris God­win left the game with a ham­string in­jury in the third quar­ter. God­win had five catches for 121 yards.

The Lions did not have a first down on of­fense with­out the ben­e­fit of a penalty un­til mid­way through the sec­ond quar­ter. UCF alum Matt Prater had a 44-yard field goal late in the first half.

Blough fin­ished 24 of 43 with two in­ter­cep­tions. Lions re­ceiver Danny Amen­dola had eight re­cep­tions for 102 yards, briefly giv­ing the Lions and their fans hope in the sec­ond half.

“When you don’t start fast, you’re go­ing to be be­hind it from the start,” Pa­tri­cia said. “It’s go­ing to be a play here or there, where if it doesn’t go your way and you don’t make a play hap­pen, then you’re right back into that tough sit­u­a­tion.”

Sack man

Tampa Bay’s Shaquil Bar­rett had a sack, giv­ing him 16.5 this sea­son to match the fran­chise record set by Hall of Fame de­fen­sive tackle War­ren Sapp in 2000.

“That’s a huge record,“Ari­ans said. “I don’t think we can over­look that one at all.“

Son of a Lion

Per­ri­man had the best game of his four-year three-team ca­reer against the fran­chise his fa­ther,

Brett, caught 25 TDs for from 1991-96.

“My dad got de­men­tia, but he’s do­ing good,“he said.

In­juries

Buc­ca­neers: Miller went out with a ham­string in­jury af­ter he scored in the first quar­ter. TE Tan­ner Hud­son was eval­u­ated for a con­cus­sion in the sec­ond half.

Lions: DT Mike Daniels (arm), RB J.D. McKissic (stringer), LB Devon Ken­nard (ham­string) and OG Kenny Wig­gins (arm) left the game with in­juries.

Up next

Buc­ca­neers: Host Hous­ton on Dec. 21.

Lions: Play at Denver on Dec. 22.

PAUL SANCYA/AP

Quar­ter­back Jameis Win­ston cel­e­brates af­ter the Buc­ca­neers’ vic­tory over the Lions on Sun­day in Detroit.

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