What a start to the 2021 NFL season it was for the New Orleans Saints and more specifically for Jameis Winston. The Saints routed the Green Bay Packers 38-3, causing some people to panic about the outlook of the Packers this season. Amid the lopsided win for New Orleans, Winston only needed to throw the ball 20 times, airing it out for 148 yards and five touchdowns.
It was a successful and efficient debut for Winston as the starter for the Saints, but some may be skeptical of whether or not he can continue performing well. Winston and New Orleans will face the Carolina Panthers in Week 2 who were also able to secure a victory to begin the season.
While there are doubters out there, let me explain why Winston can continue his massive success in Week 2 — and beyond.
Sean Payton Just Knows How To Put His QB In A Position To Thrive
Regardless of how you feel about Sean Payton, he certainly knows how to get the most out of his quarterback. We’ve seen Drew Brees and Teddy Bridgewater have success in the offense, and now Winston is going to do the same. Yes, Winston has had turnover issues in the past, but he’s had a year to sit behind Brees before being named the starter of the Saints.
In his first game as the starter in New Orleans, Winston wasn’t asked to do much through the air. That being said, when he was asked to throw the ball, he was extremely efficient. Payton’s offense is all about making it easy on his quarterbacks, but it’s still up to the quarterbacks to make the play that is needed. It’s safe to say Winston passed his first test with flying colors as New Orleans dominated from start to finish against Green Bay.
What Winston showed in Week 1 is that he’s altered his lower body when he throws the ball, preventing himself from overstepping when releasing the ball. The former No. 1 overall pick looks poised in the pocket and looks like he’s no longer jittery like he was during his time with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. For the time being, Payton is going to continue putting Winston in situations where he can excel, which should limit the turnovers he commits.
Jameis Winston Has Guys To Lean On In The Offense
Besides having Payton, Winston also has a reliable security blanket in Alvin Kamara to get the ball to. And once Tre’Quan Smith and Michael Thomas return from injured reserve, the Saints will have a decent receiving corps in place. But for right now, he will continue targeting Kamara, Adam Trautman, Deonte Harris, Juwan Johnson, and Marquez Callaway.
Having a sturdy offensive line also helps Winston as he has more time to survey the field. Even though Payton wants Winston to get the ball out quickly, one of Winston’s strengths is being able to create off-script in certain moments. While being able to lean on multiple guys in the offense, let’s not forget that the Saints also have a defense that just held Aaron Rodgers and the Packers in check in Week 1.
When the Saints take on the Panthers in Week 2, Winston is a new quarterback he was from just a year ago. You couple Winston’s efforts to improve under center with Payton’s quarterback-friendly offense and you have a recipe for success.
Unless Jameis Winston suddenly reverts to being the turnover-prone quarterback he was with the Buccaneers, then he should have a stellar performance in Week 2 and for the rest of the season. Though, expecting him to throw five touchdowns every week is being a little overzealous.