Grading Jameis Winston's performance from Week 1 vs Falcons

New Orleans Saints, Jameis Winston
New Orleans Saints, Jameis Winston / Kevin C. Cox/GettyImages

The New Orleans Saints staged an improbable comeback against the Atlanta Falcons in Week 1, and Jameis Winston was naturally one of the biggest stars of the show.

Heading into the fourth quarter, this was Atlanta's game to lose. The Falcons were up 16 and only needed a few solid offensive drives and defensive stops to close out the game.

So how exactly did the Saints end up winning the game 27-26, coming back from 16 down in the fourth quarter for the first time in franchise history?

Let's just say it was Jaboo time.

Grading Winston is tricky because of how differently he played in the first three quarters compared to the fourth. In those first three periods, Winston went 10 for 18 for just 56 yards; in the fourth, he completed 13 of 16 passes for 213 yards and two touchdowns.

Saints' Jameis Winston Week 1 Report Card

That nail-biting fourth quarter saw Winston lead touchdown drives of 75 and 86 yards, though he failed to convert the two-point attempt to tie the game. Winston nonetheless kept his cool and drove down the field in the final minute of the game to set up the Saints' game-winning field goal.

As far as unexpected comebacks go, this definitely ranks up there in NOLA's record books. The former Bucs quarterback should get knocked down a few pegs for his poor passing performance early on as Winston looked off and not in sync with his receivers for most of the game.

Yet Winston finally found his groove in the offense in the fourth quarter, and seeing him start to connect with Michael Thomas caused all Saints fans' hearts to soar. After Thomas' two late scores, the Falcons started doubling up on Thomas, and that opened the game up for other receivers like Jarvis Landry to make plays.

With the clock running out, Winston found Landry on a 40-yard pass to set up Wil Lutz for a field goal, and the rest is history. There's plenty of room for improvement in Winston's quarterback play, but he showed up when it counted, and his execution, though not timely, was flawless in the end.

Against all odds, Winston instilled faith in a team that had forgotten how to believe, especially after the Taysom Hill/ Trevor Simian/ Ian Book debacle of last year.

Next. All-Time Leaders in Rushing Yards. dark

For that, we think he earns a B grade in Week 1.