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Matthew Stafford trade shows why Saints must retain Jameis Winston

Jameis Winston #2 of the New Orleans Saints (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)
Jameis Winston #2 of the New Orleans Saints (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)
(Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images) /

Winston’s Strong Production

Believe it or not, but Winston has actually been an above-average quarterback in terms of production.

According to rbsdm.com, over his career (2015-2019), Winston ranks 14th in expected points added (EPA) per play, and first in air yards. Plus, despite throwing more difficult passes with a high average depth of target, he still has a positive completion percentage above expectation.

Believe it or not, but in that span, he ranks higher than Stafford in EPA/play, air yards, success rate, and completion percentage over expectation, and his volume stats are obviously better.

Maintaining decent efficiency while throwing the most pass attempts in the NFL in 2019 is impressive, and adds even more context to his numbers. While quarterbacks like Jared Goff and Kirk Cousins aren’t trusted to operate an offense, Winston was asked to let it fly, and his production still didn’t suffer.

In 2019, Winston once again ranked above-average (13th) in EPA/play, first in air yards, and 11th in success rate.

Thus, the idea that he is trending downwards would be foolish. You wouldn’t expect it based on his reputation, but Winston’s production suggests he’s better than a lot of the quarterbacks who currently have starting jobs, while he’s more similar to Stafford than one may think.