The New Orleans Saints may have to rely on Jameis Winston for the stretch run of their season, an opportunity the former No. 1 overall pick is bracing himself for as the franchise awaits the MRI results on Drew Brees. Coach Sean Payton took Brees out of Sunday's win over the San Francisco 49ers after the quarterback approached him about pain in his ribs.
Winston finished 6 for 10 for 63 yards on six possessions, not really throwing the ball much even in a one-score game the majority of the second half. The Saints' backup quarterback did his job in giving New Orleans the victory, even though there's much more work to be done.
"I thought he played great," Brees said on Winston filling in for him. "Listen, that's a tough, it's a tough job, you know, especially when as elaborate as our game planning is on offense especially. To come in and, and be able to execute that offense is very, very difficult, especially if you're just kind of coming in midstream. And haven't had a big chance to really get, you know, get all the reps and that kind of thing.
"And listen, I thought he did great. I thought he did great. I thought he had great command of the huddle and everything, kind of went off without a hitch, Obviously, nothing's perfect. But, I thought he made some great throws. I thought he made some really good decisions snd obviously took advantage of the opportunities that were given out there."
The Saints scored 10 points in the fourth quarter in the 27-13 victory. Not counting kneel downs at the end of the game, New Orleans gained 142 yards on Winston's six possessions in the second half -- averaging 4.6 yards per play. Winston said this was the first time he entered a game on the fly since the Tampa Bay Buccaneers played the Chicago Bears three years ago, and entering the game in mop-up duty in a Week 9 win over the Buccaneers aided him this week.
"I just prepare the same way that everyone else prepares on this team," Winston said. "I try to give everybody my all. I try to be right there with Drew (Brees) along the way, watching film with him and preparing with him. So, I felt like I went out there and I was prepared to lead this team. And I'm happy that my teammates had my back. And they went out there and executed well, and things went our way."
Winston appears to be the Saints quarterback moving forward, getting all the help he can from Brees as his NFL journey continues. This is Winston's opportunity to show he can still be a starting quarterback in the league.
"He was going through the course of the game, like I would do on anytime, typically, when the offense finishes the drives we go over there and we look over the board," Winston said. "This time since, you know, he wasn't playing, I was, I had the opportunity just to ask him some questions. See what he was seeing and just gather information from him and try to apply it out there on the field."