When you think of elite quarterbacks, there are two ways you can define this. The first and obvious way would be Super Bowl wins followed by Super Bowl appearances. The other way and the way that makes it more about the quarterback and less about the team as a whole are stats. There, of course, are different categories one can look at, and everyone has their own opinion on who they call an elite quarterback.
Someone you might not think of as being statistically among the elite quarterbacks in the NFL is Tampa Bay Buccaneers starting quarterback, Famous Jameis Winston, aka Jaboo. When you hear the average fan talk about Winston, the most common complaints are turnovers and losses, but the losses are for the most part, easily chalked up to the team as a whole, the former coaching staff, and even in some cases, Jameis himself. The turnovers, however, take on a much more difficult explanation as it isn’t always the quarterback simply throwing a bad pass, but it could be a tipped ball, a bad call from the coach, a receiver running the wrong route, or just bad decision making by the quarterback.
As you take an overall look at Winston’s stats through his career thus far, they start to paint a very different picture than what you might initially think. Statistically, Winston actually compares very closely to both Seattle’s Russell Wilson and Atlanta’s Matt Ryan. You’re already shaking your head, but before you dismiss what Jameis has done so far to this point, let’s take a look at what exactly I’m referring to.
Jameis through four seasons has amassed over 14,000 passing yards while completing 61.6% of his passes. If we take a look at Wilson and Ryan through their first 4 seasons, we see that Wilson came up just short of 14,000 passing yards while completing 64.6% of his passes, and Matt Ryan through his first four years threw just over 14,000 passing yards, but managed to complete only 60.8 % of his passes leaving both quarterbacks just shy of where Jameis is thus far in his career.
Four years in and Jameis has completed passes averaging 7.2 yards per attempt and has averaged 261 yards per game. When compared with Wilson and Ryan, we see that Wilson through the same amount of time averaged 8 yards per attempt and 218 yards per game while Ryan averaged 7.1 yards per attempt and only 229 yards per game which puts Jameis in the middle of the two for yards per attempt and ahead of both in yards per game.
If we dig a little deeper into the statistics, we see that Jameis in his first four years managed to put together a rating of 87.8 and a quarterback rating of 61.65. Through their first four years, Wilson was able to put together a rating of 101.58 and a quarterback rating of 69.58 while Matt Ryan comprised a rating of 87.95 and a quarterback rating of 68.08. While Jameis trails Russell Wilson in both rating departments, we see that he is virtually tied with Ryan.
If we step away from just pure stats and look at the accolades Jaboo has tallied through his first 4 years, we see that they’re just as impressive. Jameis was awarded the Pepsi Rookie of the Year award while being named to the Pro Football Writers Association All-Rookie Team and was selected to the Pro Bowl his rookie season. He currently holds or is tied for 8 different NFL records and 17 Buccaneer franchise records, including the youngest player to pass for 4,000 yards in a season and the youngest player to throw for 40 touchdowns.
When you look at his stats next to both Matt Ryan and Russell Wilson, along with his awards and accolades, it’s easy to see why Jameis Winston will be the next $30 Million Dollar Man and will be the face of the Buccaneers franchise for years to come.