The New Orleans Saints delayed naming their starting quarterback until days before their season opener against the Green Bay Packers.
After all, they have two candidates with rightful claims as Drew Brees’ successor.
— Jameis Winston (@Jaboowins) September 12, 2021
Meanwhile, Jameis Winston threw for over 5,000 yards and 33 touchdowns in his last season as a starter.
In the end, the Saints gave the keys to the kingdom to Winston.
It looked like they made the right decision after dominating the Packers in Week 1 of the 2021 NFL season.
An Unexpected Outcome
The catastrophe brought by Hurricane Ida forced the Saints to play this “home” game at TIAA Bank Field, which is the Jacksonville Jaguars’ home turf.
However, no one expected how it turned out.
Sportsbooks and fans from both sides anticipated a memorable showdown, given that both teams made the playoffs last season.
Unfortunately, Green Bay will remember it for all the wrong reasons.
In contrast, Winston and the Saints pulled the right moves in this highly-anticipated affair.
First of all, credit the New Orleans defense for limiting the potent Packers offense to three points.
Jameis Winston with the quote of the day pic.twitter.com/uyShgYdPuC
— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) September 13, 2021
Second, they limited the reigning MVP to 15 completions for 133 yards and two interceptions.
Rodgers also finished with a 36.8 passer rating.
In contrast, Winston manifested an MVP-like performance.
He only had more completion than Rodgers and finished the game with 148 yards.
But unlike Rodgers, he threw for five touchdowns.
The Saints offense was clicking so much that their punter Blake Gillikin had just two attempts all game.
A 55-yard pass to Deonte Harris was the longest among his touchdown throws.
JAMEIS WINSTON HAS FIVE TOUCHDOWN PASSES. #Saints
— NFL (@NFL) September 12, 2021
That pass came in the fourth quarter when they were already in front comfortably.
More importantly, Winston did not throw any picks, which was the biggest knock against his game.
As impressive as his last season as the starter with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers was, he also threw 30 interceptions.
His feat made him the seventh quarterback in NFL history to throw for five touchdowns with zero interceptions in a game.
But doing the achievement on his first start with New Orleans made his performance more impressive.
However, he looked comfortable running the offense, which led to a statement victory over an NFC contender.
What’s Next For Winston?
This opening day performance rests Winston’s case as the team’s rightful starter.
However, they will face a stiff challenge against the Carolina Panthers next week.
The Panthers won their matchup against the New York Jets, 19-14, with former Jets quarterback Sam Darnold under center.
But center Erik McCoy’s leg injury can be a serious concern for New Orleans.
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) September 13, 2021
Winston might move out of the pocket more often, given how successful the Panthers pass rush was against New York.
While it’s difficult to throw five touchdown passes again, Winston proved that he is up to the challenge of bringing the Saints to their fifth straight postseason appearance.