Ever since last Sunday when Jameis Winston had an abysmal game against the Carolina Panthers going 21 of 38 for 210 yards, no touchdowns and two interceptions, I’ve seen some Bucs fans talking. Is he really the franchise QB that we thought? Should the Bucs bench him for Fitzpatrick? Should the team trade him? It’s been amusing to read some of the opinions and suggestions this week to say the least. Well, I’m here to put an end to all that bullshit.
JAMEIS WINSTON IS THE BUCS FRANCHISE QUARTERBACK. PERIOD. END OF STORY.
For those that are doubting that FACT, let me enlighten you. This “kid” is still only 23 years old. He won’t turn 24 until after this regular season is over. He’s the same age as some quarterbacks coming out of the draft next year for God’s sake. That being said, he’s wise and mature beyond his years. He’s the best leader I’ve ever seen. His football IQ is off the charts. His work ethic and desire to win is without question. Did you see him dive into the pile after that loose ball in the Panther game??? He’s a competitor. He’s a winner. And it’s painful to see him going through this kind of losing football because you can tell that he’s not used to it. Those attributes are obvious. It’s his off the field actions and his character that some people aren’t familiar with. He’s extremely involved in the Tampa Bay community and works with a number of charities, including his very own Dream Forever Foundation which “impacts the lives of financially disadvantaged youth through encouragement, opportunities and resources to develop and achieve their dreams” according to their mission statement.
I know what you doubters are saying…”Well, what’s any of that got to do with football?”, right? Okay, here are some statistics for your ass then.
In his first two seasons, he passed for 8,132 yards. That’s just 64 yards shy of Andrew Luck’s NFL record. In fact, Winston is the first player in NFL history to start his career with back-to-back 4,000 yard seasons. A 300 yard game this weekend puts him at 2,153 yards for the season and on pace for yet another 4,000 yard year. He currently sits at 7th on the Bucs all-time passing yards list, but a 4,500 yard season this year would move him into 4th all-time ahead of Doug Williams. He should then be able to take over the top spot on that list by midseason of his 4th year. With 60 touchdowns already, he only needs 20 more to take over the top spot on the Bucs all-time list for passing touchdowns held by Josh Freeman. The only Buccaneer QB with a higher career rating than Winston’s (85.7) is Jeff Garcia (92.2). He had 6 game winning drives in his first two seasons. He’s had at least 175 yards in all 39 of his games which is the longest streak in team history.
Still not convinced yet? Ok…
He has either set or tied Buccaneer records for most passing touchdowns in a single game (5), most passing touchdowns by a rookie (22), most passing yards by a rookie (4,042), most rushing touchdowns in a single season by a QB (6), highest completion percentage by a rookie (58.3), most passing touchdowns in a single season (28), most passing yards in a single season (4,090) and most consecutive seasons with 4,000 passing yards (2).
Not enough? Aight…
How about NFL records for youngest player to have 3,000 passing yards (21 years/342 days), youngest player to have 4,000 passing yards (21 years/362 days) and youngest player to have 40 passing touchdowns (22 years/312 days). He’s only the 5th QB in history to throw for 50 touchdowns in his first two seasons. He’s the first player in NFL history to start his career with back-to-back 4,000 yards seasons.
Getting there yet? Not quite? Okeedokee…
Comparing Winston’s first two seasons to the other three NFC South quarterbacks, he stacks up like this.
Winston had a better completion percentage (59.5) than Brees (59.2), Ryan (54.7) and Newton (58.8). He had more yards (8,132) than Brees (5,392), Ryan (6,359) and Newton (7,920). He had more touchdowns (50) than Brees (28), Ryan (38) and Newton (40). He did have more interceptions (33) but with far more pass attempts (1,102) than Brees (31/882), Ryan (25/885) and Newton (29/590).
How does he compare to some of the all-time greats first two seasons? Let’s take a look.
Winston had a better completion percentage (59.5), more yards (8,132) and fewer interceptions (33) than Peyton Manning (59.4/7,874/43) while being just two touchdowns shy (52>50) of him. Tom Brady had a better completion percentage (63) and fewer picks (26) while Winston had more yards (8,132>6,607) and touchdowns (50>46) than him. Dan Marino also had a better completion percentage (61.3>59.5), fewer interceptions (23<33) and more touchdowns (68>50) than Winston thanks to a 48 touchdown second season (the most in a single season for his career), while Jameis had more yards (8,132>7,294). Aaron Rodgers (8,492) and Andrew Luck (8,196) are the only two quarterbacks to throw for more yards in their first two seasons although Rodgers wasn’t a full time starter until his fourth year in the league. He also had a higher completion percentage (64.2>59.5), more touchdowns (58>50) and fewer interceptions (20<33) than Winston. Luck also had fewer picks (27<33) than Jameis but a lower completion percentage (57.1<59.5) and less touchdowns (46<50).
If those numbers don’t finish convincing you, then I don’t know what will.
I realize that Jameis has his hiccups with the deep ball. Some of that may have to do with his elongated throwing motion acquired from years of playing baseball. Some of you claim that he has accuracy issues, but that’s not true. His completion percentage has improved each year from 58.3% in his rookie year to 60.8% in his second to now 61.8% so far this season and he’s one of the highest rated and most accurate quarterbacks in the league when forced out of the pocket. What else do you need to know about the guy?!?
Seriously though, what else?
He’s the best quarterback that Tampa Bay has ever seen. He’s going to be the best quarterback in franchise history. He’s already had one of the best starts of any quarterback in league history. He’s going to have his third consecutive 4,000 yard season. He’s going to pass for 30+ touchdowns this season giving him 80+ in his first 3 years. He will get this offense going eventually. He’s got too much talent around him not to get it done in spite of the playcalling. And once that ball gets rolling, it’s going to be quite the show to watch. Hopefully, they kick it off this Sunday against the Saints.
Until then, as always…GO BUCS!!!