The Curious Case of Jameis Winston

The Curious Case of Jameis Winston

When discussing the greatest quarterbacks of all time the list typically starts with Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, and Drew Brees….and not necessarily in that order. Those three QBs have not only battled each other on the field for the last twenty plus years, they’ve also fumbled over each other on their way to breaking every significant record in the books. All three of these men will stroll into Canton as the heads of their classes, immortalized amongst all of the legends who came before them. 


As Brees and Brady wind down their illustrious careers, a new generation of QBs are starting to take hold. Patrick Mahomes and Lamar Jackson have both already won MVPs. Mahomes also captured a Super Bowl MVP and a Lombardi trophy. Jared Goff and Carson Wentz have led their teams to a Super Bowl birth. Baker Mayfield had an impressive rookie campaign, only to be outdone by his successor at OU, Kyler Murray. The list goes on and on when talking about impressive young quarterbacks, but one name seems to often be overlooked. Currently a free agent, it seems the world has written off Jameis Winston. The same Jameis Winston who just passed for 5,000 yards and over 30 touchdowns at 25 years old, his fifth season in the NFL. Of course it wasn’t all rainbows either as Winston also became the first player in NFL history to throw for 30 TDs and 30 INTs in one season.


Jameis is not without his flaws. Most young quarterbacks aren’t. People often forget the growing pains and struggles many starting quarterbacks go through as they make their way through their NFL careers. In fact when you look at Jameis Winston’s career objectively, you will see a quarterback who has put up numbers on par with some of the all time greats. Keep in mind, I’m not saying Jameis is the next Peyton Manning or Drew Brees; not at all. I am saying that his career trajectory is not far off from those guys, and in some instances, is ahead of them. Let’s start with the elephant in the room, interceptions. 


Winston threw 30 interceptions last season, bringing his five year career total to 88, or just under 18 a year. No matter how you spin it, it’s not good. Peyton Manning however, threw for even more interceptions in his first five years slinging 100, or an average of 20 a season. It hasn’t always been this bad for Jameis. Coming into 2019 he had averaged 14.5 interceptions a season. While that isn’t a sexy number, it’s a number that will get you by as a starting quarterback in the NFL. Throwing for more than twice that many in one season will obviously inflate that average. Nevertheless, Jameis entered 2019 with a lower interception average than not only Manning, but also Hall of Famers like Dan Marino, Brett Favre, and John Elway. There is a very good chance that the 30 interceptions in 2019 turn out to be his career outlier and not the status quo. 


Now that we’ve addressed the interceptions, let’s talk about the good Jameis; the man who lit up the league with over 5000 yards passing and 30 TDs last season. That 5000 yard season alone puts him in rarified air as only 7 men had done it previously. It’s not out of the realm of possibility to think that he could do it again. If he were to do it again he would join Drew Brees as the only quarterbacks to do it twice. Brees, the NFL’s all time passing yardage leader, has accomplished the feat 5 times. While Brees may be the NFL’s passing king now, that wasn’t always the case. Brees trails Winston by a decent margin in this metric, and isn’t alone.  If you look at the top 10 all time passing leaders through their first five years, Jameis has out-passed them all, Peyton being the exception. 


16766

Brees

18030

Brady

20618

Manning

18724

Favre

19422

Marino

19661

Rivers

18644

Manning

14974

Roethlisberger

14835

Elway

18957

Ryan

19737

Winston





 When you factor in TD passes Jameis holds his own as well. He has thrown 121 TD passes which is 2 less than Brady through five years, and 15 more than Brees! These TD numbers become even more impressive when you consider the amount of games played by each of these players in their respective five year span. Peyton started 80 out of 80 games his first five years, Brady 79, and Brees started 74. Jameis has only started 70. When taking this into account Jameis pulls dead even with Manning as both threw for 1.73 TDs a game; Brady (1.56) and Brees (1.43) were both far less productive. Yards per game is an even larger eye opener as Jameis is on a historic pace averaging almost 282 yards per start. Manning is in the hunt with just under 258, while Brees and Brady are, again, well behind with 227 and 228 respectively. Yet the 26 year old signal caller finds himself unemployed. 


Jameis Winston should be a starting quarterback in the National Football League. He may never be Brady, Manning, or Brees, and that’s okay. He doesn’t have to be to be a productive starter in the NFL. All the man needs is a chance, and it’s quite curious that nobody has given him one yet. 






7 comments

  • Richard

    Jameis is a bum regardless of the stats

  • Malcolm Glazier

    Not a very deep look. Winston won’t be a starter in this league because he’s not good. His stats are a byproduct of his turnovers. How many first drive turnovers did he have last year? When you’re always playing behind because you turn the ball over, your stats will of course be inflated higher.

    He’s currently a FA because 32 front offices that know way more than you about football know he stinks. Comparing him to a HOF is like making the case that you can drop out of High School because that one billionaire did. There are plenty of NFL QB failures that you can find a stat they compare to a HOFer from a few decades ago. Terrible argument.

  • Mike

    Great article Jordan! It sickens me that this man has been passed over.

  • Zach

    Great read! Someone finally gets it! This is why Winston has been a regular in my fantasy teams!

  • Jesse Ornelas

    Cool site. I’m gonna check out the other ones

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