When it comes to NFL quarterbacks, Winston’s been a polarizing figure. And it’s been especially true in the year since the Buccaneers selected him with the No. 1 pick in the 2015 draft. Winston’s been a polarizing figure because he’s been a polarizing figure. He’s a talented quarterback, but not a franchise quarterback. He’s a winner, but has a habit of taking losses rather than celebrating victories. He’s a winner, but a turnover machine. He’s a winner, but he’s also been accused of sexual assault, leaving the team in December to avoid facing charges, and eventually getting cut by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. And on top of that, he’s also been accused of sexual assault, leaving the team in December
Several people have been comparing Buccaneers QB Jameis Winston to Peyton Manning this week, and if not for the fact that Winston has been off the field for the last five months, this could have been a bigger story. Manning has been in the news for several reasons in the last week, but not the fact that he is 47-years-old (he is 47, not that it matters).
Even though Winston is currently a 21-year-old college student, you probably still think of him as the big-name QB from Florida State who won the Heisman Trophy in 2013. After all, he was a first-round pick, and his 2015 “win at all costs” decision to the NFL still burns in the minds of many. But, Winston’s career has been a roller coaster since he left Tallahassee for Tampa Bay, and he’s no longer the franchise quarterback he once was. However, a recent report from a former NFL veteran indicates that a team that wants to acquire Winston might have to take a chance on him, if he’s going to get a fresh start.
It’s not official, but Jameis Winston just made a solid case for the starting quarterback position with a great performance against the Jacksonville Jaguars in a preseason game. If he defeats Taysom Hill in the QB battle, it might be a step in the right way for him to resurrect his career.
Despite the fact that it was just a preseason performance, Winston was recently compared to the one and only Peyton Manning.
Yes, it’s true.
It was, as you would imagine, a bit of a stretch.
The Saints’ Jameis Winston had a strong showing in a preseason game.
Winston’s NFL career has been rocky to say the least.
He had a fantastic collegiate career at Florida State, where he won a national title and the Heisman Trophy. After that, he was selected first overall in the 2015 NFL Draft by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Winston showed he could air it out with the Bucs, but it came at a cost.
In each of his first two seasons, he passed over 4,000 yards, but he also threw 15 picks as a rookie and 18 in 2016. Between 2017 and 2018, he missed a total of eight games before having a fantastic year with the Buccaneers in 2019. Winston led the NFL in passing yards with 5,109 yards and 33 touchdowns that season, but he also tossed an NFL-high 30 interceptions, making him the only player in history to throw for 30 touchdowns and 30 interceptions.
The next offseason, Tom Brady is a quarterback for the New England Patriot joined the Buccaneers, while Winston joined the Saints as a backup quarterback to Drew Brees is the quarterback for the New Orleans Saints.. Winston only threw 11 passes in 2020 and didn’t start a single game for the Saints, but now that Drew Brees has retired, Winston is in a quarterback duel with Taysom Hill.
Winston was impressive in the Saints’ preseason game on Aug. 23, throwing for 123 yards and two scores on 9-of-10 passing. Hill, on the other hand, completed 11 of his 20 passes for 138 yards and a score. Hill was sacked twice by the Jags defense, while Winston was only sacked once.
Winston’s performance cemented his starting position and, according to reports, put him on the fast track to become the next Peyton Manning.
The Saints quarterback has been compared to Peyton Manning.
Former 10-year wide receiver Harry Douglas, who had 1,067 receiving yards for the Atlanta Falcons in 2013, spoke on ESPN’s First Take after Winston’s preseason performance.
He then went on to say something intriguing about Winston.
“Do you want to know who else didn’t get off to a great start in their career? On the August 24 show, Douglas remarked, “Peyton Manning.”
The former wide receiver then compared the numbers of the two quarterbacks during the first five years of their careers (Manning had 20,618 yards, 138 touchdowns, 100 interceptions, and a 62.1 percent completion percentage, while Winston had 19,737 yards, 121 touchdowns, 88 interceptions, and a 61.3 percent completion percentage). Douglas, on the other hand, added this underneath.
He added, “Sometimes you go through hardship; it’s how you come back from it; Jameis Winston went through struggle, and he sat behind Drew Brees.”
“How do you know what Jameis Winston is going to be down the road?” Douglas said later. You had no idea Peyton Manning would turn out to be that after his disastrous start.”
To compare Winston with Manning is a bit of a reach. Many of you probably never imagined we’d have to explain why Winston isn’t Manning, but now is the moment.
Peyton Manning is a long way away from Jameis Winston.
Peyton Manning and Jameis Winston (L-R) | Chris Graythen/Getty Images; Andy Lyons/Getty Images
Douglas did, after all, use those figures to make a compelling case. But he forgot to mention that Manning and Winston were from two very different eras. Quarterbacks today have a better chance of succeeding than they had at the start of Manning’s career. Consider what Dak Prescott, Kyler Murray, and Justin Herbert accomplished as rookies, and keep in mind that none of the players listed below were starters in their first seasons.
- Brett Favre is a quarterback for the Green Bay Packers.
- Tom Brady
- Aaron Rodgers is a quarterback in the NFL.
- Drew Brees
- Joe Montana is a character in the film Joe Montana (started only one game)
- Rivers, Philip
Douglas also overlooked Manning’s 66.3 percent completion rate, which was fourth in the NFL in his sixth season. By that time, the former Colts quarterback had been selected to three Pro Bowls and had guided his club to the playoffs three times. Winston, on the other side, had the most interceptions of his career in his fifth season, was 28th in completion percentage (60.7 percent), and had yet to make the playoffs.
To put it another way, Manning was winning and improving, while Winston was doing neither.
It’s also absurd to compare Winston to a Hall of Fame quarterback and one of the all-time great quarterbacks after just one preseason game — and against the Jaguars. Let’s see how he does against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in a regular-season game. The pressure will be on at that point.
Many of us would want to see Winston have a better year in 2021 than he had in 2018. But let’s hold off on comparing him to a Hall of Famer in the NFL. He still has to compete for the starting position on his team.
Pro Football Reference and ESPN provided the statistics.
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