There has been a lot of talk about Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston this off-season. Unfortunately, most of it has centered around the 2016 incident involving an Uber driver. While all the criticism and backlash of this is certainly warranted, it’s overshadowed the fact that Winston one of the better quarterbacks in the league last year.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston picked apart defenses with regularity in 2017. His 269.5 passing yards per game ranked 6th in the NFL. At the same time he was also fairly efficient and completed 63.8% of his pass attempts which was 12th best in the league. Obviously, it’s very good to throw for a lot of yards and be efficient in completing passes down the field and Winston was better than most over the course of the year.
Why last year could have been better.
While Winston was a more dangerous passer than most last year, it’s clear we didn’t see him at his best. In week six he suffered a shoulder sprain to his throwing arm and left in the first quarter vs the Arizona Cardinals. Winston tried playing through the injury, but could not continue in Arizona. He then worsened the injury late in week seven. He attempted to keep playing through the injury until a hit worsened it in week nine vs the Saints.
Strong down the stretch
When Winston finally returned healthy in week twelve he hit the ground running. In the last five weeks of the season he threw for 1,584 yards and completing 67% of his passes. Those numbers would have ranked 1st in yards per game (316.8) and 6th in completion percentage. If this is any indication of what this budding young, dare I say, super star can do then it’s fair to expect him to be one of the best quarterbacks in the league next season.
I’m not sure averaging 316 yards per game is a realistic expectation over the course of 13 games next year. That being said, I would expect a health Winston would improve on what he did last year while playing hurt for half the season. With the weapons he has to work with and an improved offensive line to protect him I expect Winston to continue to improve. Here is what I project for Winston in the 2018 season:
Passing yards: 3,650
Completion percentage: 65%