On Sunday, Jameis Winston put the finishing touches on a season of historic proportions; good, bad, and ugly- very ugly.
For the first time in his career, Winston passed the 5,000 yard mark, a feat that has been done 12-times, including 11 since 2008. He joined an esteemed group of passers like Dan Marino, Drew Brees, both Eli and Peyton Manning, Matthew Stafford, Tom Brady, Ben Roethlisberger, and last season’s MVP- Patrick Mahomes.
Winston also broke the 30 touchdown passes in one year, a career best. He finishes with 33 TD strikes, five more than his previous high back in 2016.
Now the bad- Winston became the first quarterback in the league’s 100 years in existence, to have a 30-30 season, as in, 30 touchdown passes and 30 interceptions. And that’s alarming, especially for a quarterback that just completed his rookie contract. Winston threw interceptions in all but four total games, and had multiple interceptions in nine games. He threw at least three interceptions in five games, had two games of four interceptions, and one game against Carolina where he threw five picks.
And then there is the ugly, real ugly. Winston became the first player in the 100 year existence of the NFL, to have seven pick-6s in one season. Yes, seven. He threw two in the first game of the season against the 49ers, including one to seal a win for San Francisco, and fittingly enough, his last pass of the year…was a pick six.
Head Coach Bruce Arians has always been viewed as a quarterback coach, having worked with the likes of Andrew Luck, Roethlisberger, Peyton, and Carson Palmer, so fans and critics have been somewhat skeptical of Arians working with Winston. There were high hopes, especially with the receiving weapons that Winston has, and yet, this is your end product. Good, bad, and ugly.
Tampa has already said they intend to bring back Winston next season, but after a season like this, with all the bad and ugly overshadowing the good for Jameis, it makes you ponder if they really should bring him back. There’s something missing in Winston’s game. He’s gotten better and worse at the same time, it’s incredible.
Either way, in an odd sense, it was a historical season for Jameis Winston, however way you look at it. If anything, he’s consistent, he’s tough, and he’s a gamer. You’ll always be competitive with No. 5 under center in Tampa, whether he’s throwing 30 touchdown passes in a season, or 30 interceptions.