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How strong is Jameis Winston’s hold on the starting job?

How much leeway does Winston have to make mistakes this season?

New Orleans Saints v Baltimore Ravens Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

Jameis Winston has been named the starting quarterback for the New Orleans Saints, securing the job with a stellar performance last week against the Jaguars. Winston finally distanced himself from Taysom Hill, and in the end is the QB with much more experience and success than Hill. However, Winston has not been without his struggles in the NFL, famously throwing 30 interceptions in his last full year as a starter in 2019. Lost behind the 30 interceptions though was 5,109 passing yards and 33 touchdowns. So despite his troubles, the former #1 overall pick is still a very talented passer.

Winston has really only ever been a quarterback battle once in his career. In 2018, Ryan Fitzpatrick started multiple games in the middle of the season after a 4 interception day from Winston. Jameis was benched in the 3rd quarter of a Week 8 game against the Bengals after his fourth turnover, but later returned to the starting role in Week 11 after a 3 interception day from Fitzpatrick.

So how quickly will Winston be pulled in New Orleans if he begins to turn the ball over at an alarming rate? I believe if it starts to cost the Saints games, or if he is on pace to throw over 20 interceptions again, the quarterback position may be reevaluated. The offense Winston will be leading this year will be quite different from the one in which he threw 30 interceptions. He has a much better running back and much better offensive line this time around, and will not be required to throw as many deep passes as he was in Tampa, so it is unlikely he will get to 30 interceptions again.

However, if he starts averaging more than 1.5 interceptions a game, or is consistently throwing interceptions that are costing the team wins, I could easily see Taysom Hill getting some looks as the starting QB. It will take a continued trend of poor play for Winston to lose the starting job, I do not see him being pulled as soon as he throws his second interception of the day.

Taysom Hill has also had his fair share of turnover problems, so even if Winston does lose the job due to interceptions, he very well could gain it back if Hill begins to turn the ball over himself.


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