Football fans were treated to the full Jameis Winston Experience on Sunday.
When Derek Carr was knocked out of Sunday’s game against the Minnesota Vikings, the New Orleans Saints were forced to turn to their backup quarterback. Winston entered the game midway through the third quarter, with the Saints in a deep 27-3 hole.
Yet, thanks to a combination of factors — including a pair of touchdown passes from Winston — New Orleans had the football at midfield with time for one more throw to the end zone to perhaps tie the game. While that pass fell incomplete, and the Vikings escaped with a 27-19 victory, the game treated us all to the full Jameis Winston Experience.
After all, take this touchdown pass from Winston, where the backup quarterback breaks any number of the cardinal rules of quarterback play:
There … is a lot to get to here. Facing a 3rd and 8 early in the fourth quarter he Saints run a vertical concept with speedy Rashid Shaheed, the inside trips receiver, running vertically, as does A.T. Perry along the right sideline. Chris Olave, the middle trips receiver, runs a curl route.
Defensively, the Vikings show man coverage as well as pressure pre-snap, a Brian Flores staple, but as the play begins they drop into Cover 2.
Winston reads this inside-out. He wants to see if Shaheed can get over the top of the linebacker matching him in coverage, as that route splits the two deep safeties. But the linebacker dropping off the line does a good job staying on top of that route. He then brings his eyes to the outside, and that draws the attention of both the hook defender on the inside, and the cornerback on the outside, who bracket Olave’s curl route.
That leaves Perry wide open on his vertical. But before Winston can make that throw, he sees a flash of purple slicing into the inside of the pocket. That flushes the quarterback off his spot and to his left, away from Perry.
At this point, there are not a lot of options for Winston on this side of the field. New Orleans kept the tight end on that side in to help with pass protection, and running back Alvin Kamara chipped the edge rusher to that side before releasing. So Winston does perhaps the most Jameis thing possible, and launches a throw late, across the entire field, to Perry.
And they somehow connect for a touchdown.
Here’s another look at the play, courtesy of the “dots” from Next Gen Stats:
Of course, for the full Winston experience, we needed a play like this to round things out:
That’s right, the forced deep shot to Shaheed into a sea of purple with just under two minutes left for an interception.
Of course, the Saints still had one more chance, as their defense forced a three-and-out that gave Winston a final shot at the end zone. Unfortunately for them, that came up short on the Hail Mary.
As for Winston, he ended up completing 13 of 25 passes for 122 yards, two touchdowns, and two interceptions.
While giving us the full Jameis Winston Experience.