Saints QB Jameis Winston Viewed As Dark-Horse MVP Candidate

Jameis Winston, Saints
NFL Analysis Network

The New Orleans Saints’ 2021 season was derailed when Jameis Winston was injured in their Week 8 matchup against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Winston tore his ACL, ending his season, which sunk the Saints’ playoff hopes.

With Winston under center, the Saints went 5-2. They were off to a great start following the retirement of Drew Brees, who retired that offseason. The season that Winston spent learning from Brees and Sean Payton seemed to pay off as he was producing at a good clip.

Winston threw for 1,170 yards and 14 touchdowns in his seven appearances, throwing only three interceptions. In his last season as a starter in 2019 with the Buccaneers, he threw a staggering 30 interceptions while also leading the league in passing attempts and yardage.

New Orleans reeled in that gunslinger mentality a little bit and he took advantage. What was most impressive about his performance was that the skill position players around him, especially at the wide receiver spot, were underwhelming to put it nicely.

On track to be under center in Week 1, Winston is someone that people are taking notice of. According to NFL Rumors, several commentators believe the former No. 1 overall pick is a dark horse to win the MVP in 2022.

That would certainly be quite a feat for Winston in the second act of his career. If he can keep up his production from last season, he could very well find himself getting nominated for some awards in the coming months.

This offseason, the front office made a concerted effort to improve the offensive playmakers. Jarvis Landry was signed as a free agent and Chris Olave was selected in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft. Michael Thomas will hopefully return to the lineup healthy, providing yet another boost.

With an improved supporting cast, Winston has all of the pieces around him to succeed. If he can hold up health-wise, he should have no issues putting up some impressive statistics throughout the 2022 season.