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What version of Winston will we see in the 2022 campaign?

Jameis Winston Saints
Can Jameis Winston have a huge year for the New Orleans Saints in 2022? Will he have a break out year or will he bust?

Jameis Winston made a solid impression after being announced as the New Orleans Starter for the 2021 season. He made the perfect start defeating Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers by throwing for five touchdowns in a 38-3 hammering at Lambeau Field.

Under Sean Payton, Winston limited the mistakes that plagued his career at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. At Tampa Bay, Winston was a boom or bust quarterback. He was capable of lighting up almost any defense in the NFL to devastating effect, but was also prone to committing terrible mistakes that would cost the Buccaneers.

It was too much for the Buccaneers, who opted to allow him to leave at the end of his five-year deal. The Saints offered him a deal first as a backup to Drew Brees and then to replace him as their starter once Brees retired. Winston did look solid in Payton’s offense before sustaining a torn ACL in a defeat to the Buccaneers, curtailing what was an encouraging campaign.

The Saints kept faith in Winston and handed in a two-year extension, and the club are backed at +1600 to win the NFC Conference in the 2022 term. New Orleans are a solid team and at that price are worth considering a wager by using a bet 10 get 30 offer from Betfair for signing up to the bookmaker. The Saints have been solid in recent seasons, although they will be undergoing a drastic change for the 2022 campaign.

Payton opted to stand down at the end of the 2021 season after 16 years as head coach. Dennis Allen was defensive coordinator for five seasons, but has now been elevated to head coach. Allen made the Saints’ defense one of the most formidable units in the NFL and has previous head coaching experience with the Las Vegas Raiders, albeit a disappointing run. He is now charged with keeping the Saints in the race in the NFC Conference and notably in the NFC South, where they have fallen behind the Buccaneers.

The play of Winston will be crucial, especially as he completes his recovery from a torn ACL. Payton managed the play of the quarterback to perfection, limiting his mistakes by opening up easing passing lanes and removing the element of risk from plays. It was evident in the first game of the season against the Packers when Winston threw for just 147 yards in his side’s dominant victory. Winston also played a limited role passing downfield against the New England Patriots, although he was clinical when it mattered the most throwing two touchdowns.

He did show flashes of his old flawed ways against the Carolina Panthers, but Payton’s instructions appeared to show dividends in wins over Washington and the Seattle Seahawks before his season-ending injury. It will take time for Winston to regain his composure behind center after his injury, and the change in staffing behind the scenes will also require an adjustment. Pete Carmichael remains as offensive coordinator, but it will be very interesting to see whether the loss of Payton will have an effect on Winston’s play. Payton always managed to get the best out of his quarterbacks, dating back to his time with the New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys.

All eyes will be on Winston to see whether he still operates as the game manager with a clinical edge that he had shown promising signs of developing into in the 2021 campaign. If he can remain at that level, the Saints can compete with their outstanding defense against the Buccaneers and the other standout franchises in the NFC. However, if he reverts back to type, then the Allen era could get off to a rocky start.


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