Skip navigation
Sign up to follow your favorites on all your devices.
Sign up

Jameis Winston on fourth-quarter explosion: We let our playmakers make plays

It wasn’t intended to be a bit of product placement for a certain book that a certain reporter would certainly like to keep selling six months after publication, which makes it even more effective.

Saints quarterback Jameis Winston, in explaining to PFT the dramatic shift in the team’s offensive output in the fourth quarter, summed things up perfectly. Let playmakers make plays.

“The spark was know . . . start dialing up plays by playmakers,” Winston said regarding the reversal. “We spent so much time game planning and spent so much time trying to figure out how this team was gonna play us. It got to a point we were playing behind it and we just had to let -- drop them and let it go. Let our playmakers make the plays.”

Winston made plenty of plays in the fourth quarter, completing 13 of 16 passes for 213 yards and two touchdowns. In three full quarters before that, Winston was only 10 for 18 for 56 yards.

Receiver Michael Thomas caught both touchdown passes.

“It was amazing,” Winston said regarding the return of Thomas, who set the single-season reception record in 2019. “I missed him on a third-down slant and he looked at me and gave me one of them eyes and I said, ‘Man, I ain’t gonna miss you again,’ and he was like, ‘Let’s go,’ and I was like, ‘I got you.’ Then we turned it around and we started connecting. We was on the same page from there.”

Winston explained that the connections with Thomas caused the Falcons to rotate coverage toward him. Which opened things up for other players -- including receiver Jarvis Landry, who caught a 40-yard pass that set up the game-winning field goal.

“Another great play by [offensive coordinator] Pete Carmichael, knowing that they were going to be in some type of two-high coverage,” Winston said. “We tried to put our speed guy in the middle to get him matched up on the Tampa [Two] Mike [middle linebacker]. We thought we were going to get Tampa Two. They really clouded over the top of [Michael Thomas], and Jarvis had enough space that he was one-on-one outside and he made an incredible play, like he’s been making his whole career.”

Winston made some incredible plays, too. It allowed the Saints to win a game after being behind by 16 points in the fourth quarter in franchise history. They pulled it off by following a simple approach to football. When the game plan isn’t working, let your playmakers make plays. As long as you have them.

If you don’t, you can at least buy the book.