Jameis Winston has been on fire to open the preseason, and his hot start will translate when he returns from his suspension in Week 4.
After an offseason of turmoil, Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston hasn’t skipped a beat on the field. Currently, Pro Football Focus has him ranked as the best quarterback in all of football.
In his first two preseason games, Winston has put up some impressive numbers. Completing 77.4 percent of his passes and racking up 328 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
The former number one overall pick has made some terrific throws. Throwing darts to nearly every weapon the Bucs have to offer. Even his ugly throws, like his touchdown to Chris Godwin against the Titans, have been finding its target.
Winston did his damage against mostly backups, but it shouldn’t matter. He should be shredding the second and third team defenses. If he weren’t able to move the ball against those players, the franchise would have a serious problem on its hands.
At the very least, Winston has displayed how potent the Bucs offense can be with him leading the charge.
Winston can use this momentum once he returns from his suspension. In all likelihood, the Bucs are going to be in a hole. While Ryan Fitzpatrick has seen it all in the NFL, to expect him to keep Tampa Bay over .500 is a little naive.
The Buccaneers are going to need a monster performance from Winston if they are going to make a postseason run. They might not admit it, but the receivers know how much better the team’s chances are with Winston under center.
Winston’s terrific performance will make his return feel like an early holiday gift. After a red-hot preseason, Winston will hit the field against the mediocre Chicago Bears with his best supporting cast yet.
Winston has never been in a stable situation. He’s had receivers to throw too, but the offensive line and the lack of a running game have made life tough for the young quarterback.
All offseason long, the biggest storyline revolving around the Bucs was Winston. The chatter about his suspension has now brought many to contemplate his future with the team. Yes, we all know the Teddy Bridgewater trade talk was silly, but it hinted at how many have given up on the number one overall pick.
While Winston’s off-field problems are concerning, it appears that many have forgotten about how good he can be on the field.
There is a reason this front office and coaching staff have given Winston another chance. While his turnovers have been his biggest knock, he has improved statistically throughout his career. Seeing jumps in completion percentage and yards per game in every season.
This preseason, it looks like Winston has finally taken the step necessary to bring the Bucs to the promised land. The hot start should give him and the rest of the team confidence. The Bucs appear to have their franchise guy, even if they have to wait three weeks for him to arrive.