Seemingly everyone and their grandma wants to run Jameis Winston out of Tampa at the moment. Granted, the loss last Sunday was totally on him. Granted, he did make multiple bad decisions in each of the last four games. Granted, his record of 19-30 since playing under center for the Buccaneers does not look good.
Yet everyone who has followed the Bucs knows that very few of those losses were caused by him. He left the field many times late in the fourth quarter with a lead, but the defense was not able to hold it. How many times were those games decided by a missed kick, which has been a problem for the Buccaneers since Gramatica left?
The interceptions certainly are a problem. However, if you do some research you will find out that it is not uncommon for great quarterbacks to struggle with interceptions early in their career.
Thru 48 career NFL starts: attempts in ( )
Jameis: 74 TDs, 52 INTs, 12,672 yards (1672)
Favre: 75 TDs, 54 INTs, 10,802 (1635)
Peyton: 85 TDs, 58 INTs, 12,287 (1679)
Eli: 68 TDs, 55 INTs, 9,803 (1550)
Elway: 58 TDs, 56 INTs, 9,681 (1463)
Marino: 111 TDs, 56 INTs, 13,274 (1645)
— Underground King (@Brodie07Perry) October 29, 2018
Well, that is pretty good company putting up similar numbers as Jameis at the same point in their careers. On a side note, Peyton Manning, Jon Elway and Dan Marino each had four-interception games in their fourth season in the NFL.
So should Jameis’ interceptions be a reason for concern? Yes, to some extent. Should the Bucs throw in the towel on Winston because of that this early in his career? Absolutely not!
Winston is simply too talented and has shown way too much promise in his first two years with the Bucs to get rid of him already. Letting Winston walk the plank now after starting only three games this season would be a similar mistake to trading Steve Young. Tampa Bay needs to hold on to its future investment.
Winston certainly has all the tools necessary to turn into an elite quarterback. He simply needs more time. If the Bucs run him out of town, they could easily end up regretting it for years to come.