A comparison of Jameis Winston’s first two seasons to other elite Quarterbacks

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Nov 13, 2016; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston (3) scrambles with the ball against the Chicago Bears in the second half at Raymond James Stadium. The Buccaneers won 36-10.

Two seasons are now in the books for our aspiring, young Quarterback. Evaluating Jameis’s performance is a mixed-bag of criticism. He has been inconsistent in his time with the Bucs, so the glass is certainly half-full and half-empty, depending on whom you ask.


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I thought it would be a good idea to compare him to other well-known Quarterbacks in the league of the past decade or so. Now before I continue, please take all of this as it is, statistics. I will throw in my opinion as I often do, but before you attack it or support it, just realize, it’s not that serious.

There are certainly other variables to be considered. For example, Cam’s rushing ability and the fact that Brady only played fifteen games in his first year as a starter. I know, we know. Let’s just take a look at STRICTLY their passing abilities in their rookie and sophomore seasons:

Tom Brady: 2843 yards 18 Touchdowns 12 Interceptions
3764 yards 28 Touchdowns 14 Interceptions

Peyton Manning: 3739 yards 26 Touchdowns 28 Interceptions
4135 yards 26 Touchdowns 15 Interceptions

Jameis Winston: 4042 yards 22 Touchdowns 15 Interceptions
4090 yards 28 Touchdowns 18 Interceptions

Andrew Luck: 4374 yards 23 Touchdowns 18 Interceptions
3822 yards 23 Touchdowns 9 Interceptions

Cam Newton: 4051 yards 21 Touchdowns 17 Interceptions
3869 yards 19 Touchdowns 12 Interceptions

As you can see, Jameis has had a more successful career thus far than any of the aforementioned Quarterbacks when it comes to touchdowns and yards, overall. The only quarterback to outperform him in those categories is Manning with two more touchdowns. That coincides with his gunslinger mentality. He is willing to take risks and it’s evident.

The department that concerns me are his turnovers, obviously. He seems to have regressed in that aspect, unlike nearly every other player, with the exception of Brady’s +2 margin. However, this again supports the gunslinger mentality. With risk comes reward. His success with touchdowns is correlated to his failures with turnovers. We could utilize excuses to account for the regression like the injuries on offense, but I’m choosing to discuss the stats for what they are, numbers.

When accounting for yards, touchdowns, and interceptions only, it seems that the quarterbacks that progress the most are Brady, Manning, and Winston. That puts him in elite company. Cam’s yards and touchdowns went down. Luck’s yards declined, although he improved in turnovers, like Cam.

In my opinion, Jameis is coming along quite nicely. If I were to choose the Quarterback that he resembles the most out of the four, I would go with Manning. Both players have put up high numbers in yards, touchdowns, and interceptions after their first two seasons. Manning has put together one of the most prolific careers in football history, which alleviates the concern for Winston’s future. He also went on to limit those turnovers as he progressed. I have all the confidence in the world that Jameis will do the same.

They say that Quarterbacks improve the most in year three. If this is true, we should anticipate the best year of Jameis’s career thus far in 2017. We are fortunate to not have endured a sophomore slump (for the most part) and all signs point to even more progress. The limited sample size indicates Winston can hang with the best in the business. Some of the numbers even suggest he outperformed them.

Take the numbers as you will, but I see success and potential for greatness written all over them. I think it’s safe to say, Tampa has finally found it’s franchise Quarterback after forty years of striking out.

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