The New Orleans Saints entered the offseason with a lot of question marks when it comes to their roster. One position that they were unsure about was the quarterback spot, but Jameis Winston was re-signed and ready to assume his role as the starter.
Winston was off to an excellent start in 2021 before a knee injury suffered in Week 8 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers ended his season. The Saints went 5-2 in games that he started but were unable to stay on track without him under center, as they finished the season 9-8 and missed the postseason.
In 2022, the Saints are hoping that he can replicate that level of success. While Sean Payton is no longer head coach, New Orleans’ expectations remain the same even with Dennis Allen taking over as the head coach.
What can we expect from Winston this season? Here are three bold predictions for him in the 2022 season.
3. Doesn’t Start Week 1
There have been some reports coming from the Saints’ camp that Winston has a noticeable limp. He was cleared by doctors to play, but there is likely some more work to do when it comes to him rehabbing and feeling 100 percent healthy.
There is no reason for the Saints to push him early in the season. If something doesn’t feel right, they should let him continue to work and that is what will occur. Winston will miss at least Week 1 as he continues to rehab his knee injury.
It has to be something that they were preparing for this offseason as the team did sign veteran Andy Dalton in free agency. Knowing they can turn to Dalton to start some games until Winston is 100 percent ready is a good luxury to have. He is a big upgrade on Trevor Siemian, who went winless in four starts.
2. Career-High Completion Percentage
Jameis Winston has a ton of talent, which is why he was the first overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft. However, that talent sometimes gets him in trouble on the field, as he will try and make difficult throws that don’t have a high likelihood of succeeding.
Winston was a turnover machine with the Buccaneers and it was one of the things people thought he would learn playing under Payton and behind Drew Brees. Last season it seemed to work when it came to turnovers, as he had only three in seven games. That’s a big improvement from the last time we saw him as the starter when he threw 30 in 2019.
But, his completion percentage was only 59 percent last season. This season, that will get on track as well. With an improved supporting cast, as Michael Thomas should be back, Jarvis Landry was signed and the team used a first-round pick on Chris Olave, Winston will complete at least 65 percent of his passes, setting a new career-high.
1. Wins 70 Percent Of Starts
The Saints are going to challenge for a playoff spot in 2022, as they have a solid team on both sides of the ball. Winston may not start every game this season, but when he does, the team will find plenty of success.
New Orleans will win at least 70 percent of the starts that he makes this season. So if he ends up starting 14 games, they will win at least 10 of them. Hopefully, the knee injury doesn’t keep him sidelined for too long, but he will need some time to get back on track.
Ultimately, Winston will start 12 games and the Saints will go 9-3 in those games. They will qualify for the playoffs as a Wild Card team, finishing just behind the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the NFC South.