Jameis Winston will bounce back better than before
Jameis “Jaboo” Winston graduated from the Harvard quarterback school in New Orleans and proceeded to start for the Saints in 2021. Winston bravely started 5-2 with the Saints, while claiming big victories against the Green Bay Packers, New England Patriots, and Seattle Seahawks.
The former Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB that threw for 30 interceptions in 2019 was actually taking care of the football while making big plays with his arm. Jaboo threw 14 touchdowns to 3 interceptions while unveiling 1,170 passing yards in seven starts. It seemed like Winston was on course to make the Pro Bowl and lead the Saints back to the postseason in the Brees-less era.
All of sudden, the air was taken out of the Caesars Superdome in a Week 8 showdown between the Saints and Buccaneers. Jameis Winston was facing his former team and the stage was set for Winston to get revenge against the Bucs. Unfortunately, the universe had a different plan for Winston. The Saints starting QB fled the pocket on a broken-down pass play and was taken down by his former teammate Devin White. The tackler on Winston performed a horse-collar tackle on the Bucs former QB and Winston went down awkwardly.
The motivated Saints QB appeared to have serious pain in his knee after White’s illegal tackle which was a terrible sign for the QB. The worst expectation was true: the inspirational comeback of Jameis Winston in 2021 came to an end as Winston suffered a torn ACL. Winston was out for the season and the Saints would claim a 4-6 record in the aftermath of his ACL injury.
Winston entered the 2022 offseason with enormous motivation after suffering a brutal injury and not seeing his beloved Saints squad not make the playoffs. Nonetheless, I believe there is a light at the end of the tunnel for Winston and it will be on the Saints again. Here are a few reasons why Winston will remain with the Saints and why he will climb to prominence in the Big Easy.
- Loss of Sean Payton and the return of Pete Carmichael
It was a sad surprise that Sean Payton “retired” from the NFL and left the Saints a short bit ago.
Kevin James Dennis Allen, who was the former Saints defensive coordinator, is the new ring leader. The chances of getting Russell Wilson took a hit with Payton leaving New Orleans.
The Saints were able to keep Pete Carmichael (Payton’s long-time best friend) as the offensive coordinator this offseason. It’s very positive that Carmichael is returning because it keeps a strong chemistry between Carmichael and Jameis Winston, who is at least surely in the building for a bit longer. Winston has to be happy that a very similar scheme from 2021 will be repeating itself in 2022 under Carmichael. The return of the introverted Pete Carmichael helps Winston be more attracted to sign with the Saints on new deal.
- The hungry and healthy Michael Thomas
Michael Thomas recently took to intagram to display his hunger to dominate in 2022. Thomas deleted all of his inta material and only posted “demon mode”, which was a reference from the legend Kobe Bryant. Thomas’s social media statement comes shortly after the Saints announced they wouldn’t trade Michael Thomas this offseason.
Thomas may not win Offensive Player of The Year again, but he can be a Pro Bowl caliber WR at least. Cantguardmike was playing well when he half injured and catching passes from Taysom Hill in Drew Brees’s absence in 2020. Thomas had 9 catches for 104 yards against the Atlanta Falcons, 6 catches for 50 yards against a quarterback-less Denver Broncos team, 9 catches for 105 yards against the Falcons, and 8 receptions for 84 yards against the Philadelphia Eagles. Thomas can be a top end WR in 2022 and bring a sizable boost to Winston, who was playing well without Thomas in 2022.
- The decaying NFC South
The NFC South has a murky outlook in 2022 and beyond. The NFC South and the NFL’s GOAT Tom Brady has hung up his cleats. Barring a trade that Bruce Arians makes for the likes of Deshaun Watson or Russell Wilson, it would be a challenge for the young Kyle Trask to recapture glory.
The Carolina Panthers could move on from Christian McCaffrey and the Atlanta Falcons could part ways with Matt Ryan this offseason, as well. Matt Ryan is the highest paid NFL player in 2022, so they will need to figure out his contract. It seems like a strong possibility that the Falcons finally move on from the very expensive, soon to be 38 year old QB. Calvin Ridley will likely be out of Georgia, too.
CMAC is coming off two injury riddled season and it doesn’t help that he plays the bruising RB position. The Panthers still don’t have a QB that can lead them to the playoffs in sight, regardless of CMAC’s presence. If Matt Ryan stays in Atlanta, Ryan and Kyle Pitts can put up a lot of points together. Nonetheless, the Falcons lack firepower outside of Pitts, and their defense is a serious work in progress. Assuming Winston returns to the Saints, who have won the division in four of the past five years, the Saints should be able to dominate in many of their divisional matchups and win the South in 2022.
- The rise of Deonte Harris
The Saints All Pro punt returner, Deonte Harris, had a career season at the WR position in 2021. Harris ousted 36 receptions, 570 yards, and 3 touchdowns. The speed demon was a serious deep threat, as he averaged 15.8 YPC. Those numbers may not sound impressive, because they aren’t. Still, it should be noted that Harris had expoential growth from 2020 (17 receptions, 207 yards, 0 touchdowns) and he had respectable production in a passing offense that was ranked 32nd. Harris should benefit from a quality QB playing for
7 17 games and potentially from Cantguardmike attracting double coverage on a consistent basis.