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Just How Good Is Jameis Winston?

Recently, I’ve seen a Twitter war over some comments comparing Jameis Winston’s numbers to Josh Freeman’s numbers. I’m not really sure what the point of the tweet was or if there even was a point at all. Maybe the guy is a Gator fan. Maybe he just doesn’t like Winston. Maybe he’s just an internet troll trying to stir up trouble. Either way, it got me thinking. Just how good is Jameis? How does he measure up to other Buccaneer quarterbacks of the past? How does he stack up to some of the great quarterbacks of this era? I mean, we know that he’s already set franchise and NFL records in his first two seasons, but where has that put him amongst the Bucs all-time leading passers? Well, I dove into the statistics to see where he was compared to Freeman and a number of other current quarterbacks of today’s NFL. Here’s what I found…

In just two seasons, Jameis Winston has compiled 8,132 yards (just 64 yards shy of Andrew Luck’s NFL record 8,196 yards in his first two seasons) to go with his 50 touchdowns. In his third season, he’ll have an opportunity to take over the top spot as the Buccaneers all-time touchdown passer if he can throw more than 30 touchdowns this year (Josh Freeman is the current leader with 80 tds). He’s already 7th on the Bucs all-time list for games, yards and touchdowns and if he can pass for more than 4,500 yards in 2017 it will move him into the top 5 of that list. He ranks 4th in career completion percentage at 59.6% behind Brian Griese, Jeff Garcia and Brad Johnson. He’s 3rd in TD% at 4.5% behind only Mike Glennon and Brian Griese. He’s 5th in INT% at 3% behind Brad Johnson, Jeff Garcia, Mike Glennon and Bruce Gradkowski. He’s 3rd in career QBR at 85.2% behind Brian Griese and Jeff Garcia. He’s 1st in yards per game by a large margin with 254.1 ypg. The next closest is Freeman at 225.6ypg. If he stays healthy, he’ll be the Bucs leading passer by the middle of his fourth season.

He’s already set or tied franchise passing records for touchdowns in a game (5), most passing touchdowns by a rookie (22), most passing yards by a rookie (4,042), most rushing touchdowns by a quarterback (6), highest single season completion percentage by a rookie (58.3), most passing touchdowns in a season (28), most passing yards in a season (4,090) and most consecutive seasons with 4,000 yards passing (2). He also set or tied a number of NFL passing records as well such as the most passing touchdowns in a game by a rookie (5), youngest player to 3,000 yards (21 years, 342 days), youngest player to 4,000 yards (21 years, 362 days) and youngest player to 40 touchdowns (22 years, 312 days). He’s also only the 5th quarterback ever to reach the 50 touchdown mark in his first two seasons and the first to ever start a career with back to back 4,000 yard seasons. So how do his numbers compare to other quarterbacks? Let’s take a look.


  • Jameis Winston: Games- 32 Comp/Att- 657/1,102 Comp%- 59.5% Yards- 8,132 YPG- 254.1 TDs- 50 Ints- 33 TD%- 4.5% INT%- 3.0%
  • Vinny Testaverde: Games- 21 Comp/Att- 293/631 Comp%- 45.3% Yards- 4,321 YPG- 198.1 TDs- 18 Ints- 41 TD%- 3.6% INT%- 5.2%
  • Josh Freeman: Games- 26 Comp/Att- 449/764 Comp%- 57.9% Yards- 5,306 YPG- 200.6 TDs- 35 Ints- 24 TD%- 4.1% INT%- 3.4%
  • Trent Dilfer: Games- 21 Comp/Att- 262/497 Comp%- 50.2% Yards- 3,207 YPG- 130.9 TDs- 5 Ints- 24 TD%- 3.4% INT%- 3.9%
  • Doug Williams: Games- 26 Comp/Att- 239/591 Comp%- 39.7% Yards- 3,618 YPG- 130.0 TDs- 25 Ints- 32 TD%- 3.9% INT%- 3.9%

Despite throwing nearly twice as many passes as the others, Winston has the highest completion percentage, the highest touchdown rate and the lowest interception rate of anyone on the list.


  • Jameis Winston: Games- 32 Comp/Att- 657/1,102 Comp%- 59.5% Yards- 8,132 YPG- 254.1 TDs- 50 Ints- 33 TD%- 4.5% INT%- 3.0%
  • Drew Brees: Games- 25 Comp/Att- 525/882 Comp%- 59.2% Yards- 5,392 YPG- 198.4 TDs- 28 Ints- 31 TD%- 3.1% INT%- 3.6%
  • Matt Ryan: Games- 30 Comp/Att- 528/885 Comp%- 54.7% Yards- 6,359 YPG- 211.6 TDs- 38 Ints- 25 TD%- 4.2% INT%- 2.8%
  • Cam Newton: Games- 32 Comp/Att- 590/1,002 Comp%- 58.8% Yards- 7,920 YPG- 247.5 TDs- 40 Ints- 29 TD%- 4.0% INT%- 2.9%

Once again, despite throwing more passes he has the highest completion percentage and the highest touchdown rate on this list and nobody is even close in yards, yards per game or touchdowns.


  • Jameis Winston: Games- 32 Comp/Att- 657/1,102 Comp%- 59.5% Yards- 8,132 YPG- 254.1 TDs- 50 Ints- 33 TD%- 4.5% INT%- 3.0%
  • Peyton Manning: Games- 32 Comp/Att- 657/1,108 Comp%- 59.4% Yards- 7,874 YPG- 246.1 TDs- 52 Ints- 43 TD%- 4.7% INT%- 3.8%
  • Tom Brady: Games- 31 Comp/Att- 637/1,014 Comp%- 63.0% Yards- 6,607 YPG- 212.4 TDs- 46 Ints- 26 TD%- 4.5% INT%- 2.6%
  • Aaron Rodgers: Games- 32 Comp/Att- 691/1,077 Comp%- 64.2% Yards- 8,492 YPG- 264.7 TDs- 58 Ints- 20 TD%- 5.3% INT%- 1.8%
  • Ben Roethisberger: Games- 26 Comp/Att- 364/563 Comp% 64.5% Yards- 5,006 YPG- 193.0 TDs- 34 Ints- 20 TD%- 6.1% INT%- 3.5%

With the exception of Aaron Rodgers and his ridiculous numbers, Winston has better numbers than these other future Hall of Famers including the one some consider the G.O.A.T.


  • Jameis Winston: Games- 32 Comp/Att- 657/1,102 Comp%- 59.5% Yards- 8,132 YPG- 254.1 TDs- 50 Ints- 33 TD%- 4.5% INT%- 3.0%
  • Andrew Luck: Games- 32 Comp/Att- 682/1,197 Comp%- 57.1% Yards- 8,196 YPG- 256.2 TDs- 46 Ints- 27 TD%- 3.8% INT%- 2.3%
  • Derek Carr: Games- 32 Comp/Att- 698/1,172 Comp%- 59.6% Yards- 7,257 YPG- 226.8 TDs- 53 Ints- 25 TD%- 4.5% INT%- 2.2%
  • Ryan Tannehill: Games- 32 Comp/Att- 637/1,072 Comp%- 59.3% Yards- 7,207 YPG- 225.3 TDs- 36 Ints- 30 TD%- 3.3% INT%- 2.8%
  • Blake Bortles: Games- 30 Comp/Att- 635/1,081 Comp%- 58.8% Yards- 7,336 YPG- 242.3 TDs- 46 Ints- 35 TD%- 4.1% INT%- 3.3%

Out of this talented bunch, Winston has the 2nd highest completion percentage, 2nd highest passing yards, 2nd highest number of touchdowns and is tied for the highest touchdown rate.


  • Jameis Winston: Games- 32 Comp/Att- 657/1,102 Comp%- 59.5% Yards- 8,132 YPG- 254.1 TDs- 50 Ints- 33 TD%- 4.5% INT%- 3.0%
  • Marcus Mariota: Games- 27 Comp/Att- 506/821 Comp%- 61.7% Yards- 6,244 YPG- 231.6 TDs- 45 Ints- 19 TD%- 5.4% INT%- 2.4%

Even though Mariota has a better completion percentage, touchdown rate and interception rate than Winston, those stats are a bit misleading. First of all, Winston has nearly 300 more pass attempts than him. Second, the Titans have fit their offense around Mariota’s skillset which is a short to intermediate passing game meaning a naturally higher chance of completing passes. If you remember, his numbers in college were ridiculously skewed because of that very reason (66.8% completions, 105 touchdowns and 14 interceptions).

So there you have it. Winston is putting up numbers comparable to some of the greatest QB’s of all time and some of the best in the game now. The interesting part is that he’s done it with limited targets on offense. In 2015, Mike Evans was the Bucs leading receiver with 1,206 yards but their second leading pass catcher was running back Charles Sims with 561 yards. Vincent Jackson was a close third with 543 yards. In 2016 it was a similar story. Evans was again the leading receiver by nearly twice as much as the next on the list. Behind him, the next three players with the most receiving yards were tight end Cam Brate, and wide receivers Adam Humphries and Russell Shepard, all undrafted free agents. It makes you wonder…what could Winston accomplish this season with the weapons he has now?

Just think about this for a second. Not only does he have one of the best receivers in football in Mike Evans, but now he’s got DeSean Jackson who has the second most touchdowns of 60+ yards in NFL history. He’s now got tight end O.J. Howard who averaged 15 yards per catch in college at Alabama. He’s now got wide receiver Chris Godwin who averaged nearly 16 yards per catch in college at Penn State. He still has Brate and Humphries who both averaged over 11 yards per catch last year too. And let’s not forget about his stable of very capable running backs that can catch passes out of the backfield as well. This could end up being a historical season for our franchise quarterback. But it’s not just the eye-popping numbers or the franchise and NFL records that he’s breaking, it’s his intangibles. It’s his leadership on the field and his character off the field. It’s his will to win and his desire to be one of the greats. It’s his contagious attitude and his relentless work ethic. All of these things combined with his on-the-field production is what will make him the greatest Buccaneer quarterback of all time within the next two years and eventually, possibly, one of the greatest QB’s to ever play this game. Until then, as always…GO BUCS!!!

Jon Hinkle

My name is Jon Hinkle, also know as Deez Bucz to most Buccaneers fans. I have been given the opportunity by to do some writing about one of my favorite subjects...Buccaneer football and all that goes with it. This is my first public writing gig, so I'm hoping that I can entertain the fine fans of Tampa Bay while learning and gaining experience towards a possible new career in sports reporting. I hope everyone enjoys the fruits of my labor and I look forward to bringing some new and exciting stories to Bucs Nation! And as always.....GO BUCS!!!

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