Jameis simply took what the defense gave him for the majority of this game, and that’s about all we can ask from him.
While five touchdowns, no picks and an otherwise spotless stat line is enough to suffice some, we all know that the box score only tells a piece of the story when it comes to a quarterback’s performance — so I went back and took a look at every Jameis Winston dropback from the Green Bay Packers game on Sunday to get a clearer picture of just how well the seven-year vet played in his starting debut.
And well — the results hold up.
Jameis played a good game, plain and simple, even if you want to account for one of his TD’s being a touch pass. But it was the way in which he played well that made it most impressive.
He continuously took what the defense gave him and was under complete control, providing some sort of value on almost every one of his dropbacks.
On 23 total dropbacks, he went 14/20, only had two incompletions that weren’t drops or throwaways and had three rushes for 37 yards.
Per PFF, he had a 90 offensive grade when kept clean from pressure and an impressive 73.5 grade when under pressure. But most importantly, he had ZERO turnover-worthy throws — no picks, fumbles or shoulda-been picks that were dropped.
The vast majority of the time he had the ball in his hands, good things were simply happening.
Jameis Winston just connected deep to Deonte Harris and that’s five touchdown passes for Jameis in his first game as #Saints starter.pic.twitter.com/gCkV441YiT
— Billy Heyen (@BillyHeyen) September 12, 2021
Of all 23 dropbacks, here’s how I charted them:
-0 Turnover-Worthy Plays
-1 Big Time Throw
-2 Inaccurate but catchable balls
-1 Inaccurate uncatchable ball
-3 Screens/Tap Passes
-3 Quality runs
-5 Quality accurate balls for either first downs or TDs
-2 Not-bad decisions that could’ve been better (incomplete deep to Callaway and short completion that could’ve been a bigger play)
-4 Dump-offs/expected throws (a couple with very good pocket movement)
He had a bit of everything that you want to see from a QB in this game — the expected but valuable throws, a huge play, a couple of needed throwaways, plays where nothing was there but he made something happen and the nice intermediate throws when they were available.
Like this one, for instance:
This is just a nice throw to Deonte Harris on a deep out route off of a soft play action fake vs. a Cover 4 defense. Once he sees the defender’s hips turn, he rips an accurate ball for about 17 yards to the sideline. Gosh, that’s good stuff.
And then you’ve got the famous throwaway.
Jameis making us all proud with this good decision to throw the ball away pic.twitter.com/Xf6umPbr1y
— SyedSchemes (@syedschemes) September 14, 2021
This is the play Jameis said was his favorite from the game. The New Orleans Saints are trying to get Taysom open on a Y-leak wheel route to the backside of the play, but he gets tripped up at the line and is late out of his break — it’s not there, and Jameis simply throws it out of bounds
There are some Canal Streeters who thought he could’ve hit Callaway on the corner route to the right, but I personally think he made the right decision, as that would’ve been a tight window and it was first down.
But one of my favorite plays of his from Sunday was his TD pass to Chris Hogan.
He does such a fantastic job of making something out of nothing here by creating time in the pocket when no one is open initially, stepping up and eluding a rusher. He pulls the two underneath defenders down by running up towards the line of scrimmage and then throws an accurate ball behind their heads on the run to Hogan for the score.
This is such an impressive combination of all the intricacies of quarterbacking coalescing together into a great play — pocket movement and awareness, athleticism, vision and accuracy on the move.
While it wasn’t a perfect game, it was about as good a performance as you could’ve hoped for from Winston in his debut.
It’ll be interesting to see how he fares in situations that are a little less favorable — playing from behind, throwing on more late and long downs and distances — as the season goes on, but with the cards that were dealt to him in Week 1, he cashed out.
I think it will be very important to stay on schedule as an offense this year, and keep him out of as many third-and-longs as possible, although he’ll inevitably have to execute in those moments at some point.
If the offense can’t continue to be efficient and play through its weapons, not asking too much of Winston throughout the season, the results could continue to be favorable.
What were your biggest takeaways from Winston’s performance? Let us know in the comments. Make sure you follow Canal Street Chronicles on Twitter at @SaintsCSC, “Like” us on Facebook at Canal Street Chronicles, and make sure you’re subscribed to our new YouTube channel. As always, you can follow me on Twitter @AndrewBell_98.
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