as soon as Jameis Winston first signed v the new Orleans Saints in the 2020 offseason, the nationwide media wrote Winston off as player left with no various other suitor of interest in totally free agency, required to take it a backup role to a future room of Famer. Perhaps they were right.

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In any event, Winston recognized he essential to put his “ego aside” and make the decision the was ideal for his long-term football future. The Florida State alumnus claimed at the time that coming to new Orleans to learn under Sean Payton and Drew Brees would be prefer receiving a “Harvard education” in how to it is in an NFL quarterback.

I previously had actually the possibility to speak v Winston and also ask him if the felt he obtained his tuition dollar’s worth out of that “Harvard education,” and he emphatically explained that he didn’t feel favor he had actually been “short-changed in ~ all.”

But prefer with any type of education, you can sit in the classroom all day long and hear what the teacher is informing you, yet can you put it right into practice? as soon as it come time to take it the test, will you pass through flying colors, or will you fail regardless of your teacher’s ideal efforts?

Winston’s very first test come Sunday afternoon against the environment-friendly Bay Packers.

Let’s set up the play. The Saints room up 10-0 over the reigning MVP Aaron Rodgers and the Packers, so late in the first quarter. The 1st-and-10 in ~ the green Bay 37.

This is a modification “Y-Leak” ide where the play shows up likely design to walk to Taysom Hill. Taysom starts at the optimal of the formation and also then uses pre-snap movement to become a blocker at the bottom that the attack line. Jameis is an alleged to fake a hand-off come Alvin Kamara and also then fake a bootleg come the right where crossing receivers have to be coming across the field. The fullback in this formation is also supposed to relocate right, faking the large block because that the bootleg.

Instead of blocking for the bootleg, Taysom is an alleged to disengage indigenous his block and run a wheel route up follow me the optimal of the screen. It would certainly look something favor this, v Taysom making use of pre-snap movement to get to the yellow “X” below, interact the protective line during the yellow squiggles, and then run the wheel route.

Adam Trautman, lined up together a receiver in ~ the height of the screen, and Marquez Callaway, the Saints receiver in ~ the bottom the the screen, room both to run the two crossing routes to the opposite side of the field as Taysom’s wheel. The thought below is the 2 crossing paths by Trautman and also Callaway would certainly help cost-free up room for Taysom ~ above the other side that the ar as the Packers defense would certainly all be moving away native Taysom.

new Orleans running back Alvin Kamara operates as Jameis’s check-down option, wherein he is an alleged to continue to be close to the heat of scrimmage and also present a security net of kinds if over there isn’t a deep shoot elsewhere. However, the beat is design in a method to provide Taysom Hill a solid chance at catching basic pass native Jameis Winston for a big gain.

it is what is claimed to happen.

Due to no fault of his own, Taysom bring away a little longer to get out of his block 보다 anticipated. By the moment Jameis fakes the hand-off come Kamara and also completes the rest of his drop back, Taysom had momentarily led to a minor traffic jam v two Packers lined up at the heat of scrimmage, #47 linebacker Chauncey Rivers and also #93 defensive lineman T.J. Slaton.

When Jameis looks approximately where Taysom is claimed to be, he isn’t over there yet. Instead of panicking, Jameis looks down the field from left to right, very first to Adam Trautman and then come Marquez Callaway, hope either to be able to get separation on their routes. Lock weren’t.

Jameis climate looks come his check-down option in Alvin Kamara. Also covered.

Then us go back to Taysom Hill’s wheel route. Through this point, Packers linebacker Krys Barnes has the play diagnosed and also has recovered to catch up come Taysom Hill. Additionally covered.

Finally, Jameis looks in ~ Alvin Kamara one an ext time prior to deciding to launch the round out of bounds.

Now the we’ve questioned the pat in-depth, let’s clock it in action.


After the game, Jameis told Peter King of NBC sporting activities that this very same play was run by the beginning offense throughout practice. ~ above the beat in practice, Winstead said, “I was trying to make a play, and I threw it, and also Kaden Elliss intercepted it. Therefore I simply said to myself, If we contact that play in the game this week, and it’s not there, ns gonna litter it therefore high out of bounds that Shaq can’t pick it off. And that’s what i did.”

Watch Jameis’s helmet. Clock him track the routes disputed above, no panic, and also then make the clever decision to litter the round out that bounds instead of forcing the round to Trautman, Callaway, or Hill.


This is the sort of decision Jameis does not make together a member the the Tampa only Buccaneers. Friend can nearly see the wheels turning in his head as the beat starts to rest down. He wants to sling it down the field. That considers for a quick moment launching the round to Callaway deep down the ideal side that the field. If he had, the security on peak of the route likely would have recorded what would have been one of Jameis’s 30 interceptions in 2019. In 2019, Jameis would have made the not correct decision ~ above this play and also tried forcing the round down field.

When us talked v Jameis prior to the 2021 season started, he questioned his biggest takeaway indigenous his time under drew Brees. There is no hesitation, the emphasized the have to limit turnovers. Winston defined that what the learned from drew Brees to be to “make the right decision” nevertheless of the outcome. If it method taking a sack, take it a sack. If it way throwing the ball away, throw the ball away. Live to fight another play.

And that’s exactly what he did here.

Not all throw-aways are produced equal. Sometimes, the quarterback throws the ball away rather of hitting an open up receiver due to the fact that he lacked the confidence to do the throw. As you might see indigenous the break down above, that wasn’t what happened on this play. Instead of forcing the round down field and also possibly transforming the ball over come Aaron Rodgers and also losing every one of the momentum the Saints had actually just built, Jameis threw the sphere away to collection up 2nd-and-10. He live to fight one more play and also let the journey continue. The conclusion of the drive? A touchdown happen to tight finish Juwan Johnson, extending the Saints lead to 17-0.

So that brings united state to the original question posed: can Jameis Winston success the 2021 Most valuable Player award?

There have only to be eight NFL periods where at least one quarterback threw for over 5,000 yards. In 5 of those eight, a 5,000-yard passer won either MVP, attack Player of the Year, or Comeback Player of the Year. The various other three seasons encompass two from drew Brees in 2012 and also 2016 once the Saints finished through a 7-9 record each year, and Jameis Winston in 2019, when he led the organization in interceptions by cram a chuck thirty.

Don’t get this twisted: ns don’t think Jameis Winston will certainly pass because that over 5,000 yards in 2021 (or rather the 17-game identical now the the NFL season increased to include second regular season game). However Jameis has plainly shown he has the arm talent to execute so. The concern was always going to be whether he might cut down on his interceptions. If he might do that, while maintaining elite production, then he has actually a chance to do something attracted Brees was never ever able to execute in his room of reputation career: victory an NFL Most beneficial Player award.

Jameis Winston walk to school for a year under drew Brees and also Sean Payton to find out to it is in an elite NFL quarterback. As soon as it come time to take his an initial exam, the received optimal marks. In fact, his one-game performance single-handedly improved his odds to win the 2021 MVP. Our good friends at sporting activities Betting Dime save up with real-time betting odds throughout the NFL.

top top September 8th, prior to the week 1 game against the Packers, Winston’s odds to win the 2021 MVP were end +4,000. Today, they have actually jumped to +2,500.

Patrick Mahomes is tho the overwhelming favorite to win MVP in ~ +550 odds. However if Jameis have the right to show continuous growth and maturity in his decision-making with the football in his hands even when a play division down, then Jameis Winston’s odds to win MVP could continue to improve. He simply needs to focus on making the “right” decision regardless of the outcome favor his teacher, drew Brees, taught him.

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Did Jameis Winston steal those crab legs while a member of the Florida State Seminoles? i don’t think so, however the civilization may never know. However, he an extremely well can “steal” the 2021 NFL MVP if Patrick Mahomes and the remainder of the NFL don’t watch out.