There recently has been some chatter from the national media about Jameis Winston and his less than ideal win-loss record three years into his Buccaneers career. The thought is that Jamies needs to win more games. I couldn’t disagree any more if my life depended on it.
But the Bucs need to win more.
Quarterback wins are not a real stat to measure the talent or ability of a quarterback. It is a team game that requires 100 different moving parts to work together well enough to come away with a win any given Sunday. The quarterback certainly is a very important cog for the success of a team, but the defense, wide receivers, offensive line, running backs, special teams and especially the coaches, all contribute to wins and losses.
A quarterback alone cannot elevate a bad team to a winning team, no matter how talented he is on the field. Ask Archie Manning, Andrew Luck or Carson Palmer. But a good team can help carry a quarterback that is still finding his footing. See the 1970’s Steelers and Terry Bradshaw. Through 4 seasons Bradshaw had thrown 41 touchdowns and 73 interceptions. Yet the Steelers, bolstered by a fearsome defense and run game, went to the playoffs in Bradshaw’s 3rd and 4th years and won the Super Bowl in his 5th year. Their record from 1970-1974 was 32 - 24. Was that Bradshaw or the team? Clearly it was more of the overall team. Bradshaw eventually settled into his groove in his 6th year and would go on to a Hall of Fame career, but would that have been the case if he went to a terrible team that couldn’t elevate him until he was ready to be the quarterback he would eventually turn into?
Let’s try this Bucs fans, which quarterback would you take based on “QB wins?”
1038/1754 - 59.1% - 12,020 - 79 TD - 47 INT - 18 wins - 30 losses - 1 division title - 1 playoff app
939/1544- 60.8% - 11,636 - 69 TD - 47 INT - 20 wins - 28 losses - 0 divison title - 0 playoff app
I’d assume most would choose QB 1 because of the division title and playoff appearance, right? Isn’t that the goal of every season? Make the playoffs and try to win Super Bowl. Based on “QB wins” quarterback 2 should be the winner, but he didn’t lead his team to a division title or playoff appearance. Quarterback 1, despite two less wins, was able to win his division and lead his team to the playoffs.
Quarterback 1 is Blake Bortles. Quarterback 2 is Jameis Winston. Would any Bucs fan really trade Winston for Bortles based on on-field play? The Jacksonville Jaguars significantly upgraded their roster and coaching staff over the last two years and as a team, they were able to win their division and make a deep run in the playoffs. The Bucs are looking to have a similar successful turnaround after upgrading their roster this offseason.
Let me be clear, Winston needs to improve his play on the field and he’ll be the first to say the same thing. He’s had some soul crushing turnovers that greatly helped secure a loss, but he’s also given his team the lead late in the 4th, only to see it evaporate as the defense gave up the winning or game tying score. The Bucs as a whole have not been good enough to win. Period. From the coaches to the players. Winston has certainly contributed to the 28 losses in the last 3 years, but to single him out and say “he alone needs to win more” is missing the big picture and is a cheap talking point.