TAMPA – A new debate has caught fire around the NFL. Ok, perhaps it’s only caught fire at the NFL Network and at NFL.com. No matter, it’s an interesting debate Buccaneers fans might like to join in on.
After Colts quarterback Andrew Luck and Bucs quarterback Jamesis Winston came in at Nos. 51 and 57 respectively in the NFL Network’s latest ranking of the top 100 players in the league, NFL.com asked which of those two you’d prefer to have running your franchise going forward.
On the surface it seems like a silly question. Luck is, after all, the more accomplished player, having been in the league for five years and having taken the Colts to the playoffs in each of his first three seasons before missing more than half of the 2015 season due to injury.
What makes the argument valid, though, is that through five seasons, Luck’s average seasonal output is very similar to what Winston has produced during his first two years in the league.
The first overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, Luck has completed 59.2-percent of his passes for an average of 3,816 yards, 26 touchdowns, 14 interceptions per season and a passer rating of 87.3.
Winston, meanwhile, has completed 59.6-percent of his passes for an average of 4,066 yards, 25 touchdowns and 16 interceptions per season for a passer rating of 85.2.
As you can see, Luck and Winston are virtually one in the same, and that in essence is the conclusion those six NFL.com writers came to when they were asked to choose which they would want going forward.
The group was split down the middle with some such as storied former NFL executive Gil Brandt choosing Luck because he believes Luck has the better chance of winning a Super Bowl with the same level of talent while former NFL linebacker Willie McGinest chose Winston because he believes Winston actually has the better supporting cast right now and will prove to be the more durable quarterback.
“I think Andrew Luck is the better all-around quarterback,’’ McGinest wrote. “But I’m going with Jameis Winston based on the amount of talent around him. Luck has been injured and has had to put the offense on his back. That’s a lot of pressure. Winston doesn’t have to do as much in the Bucs offense and is more likely to stay healthy. Going forward, I’d roll with Winston.’’
We believe the Bucs, who of course chose Winston first overall in the 2014 NFL Draft, feel the same way, but we’d love to hear what the fans think. Respond via twitter or at the Florida Football Insiders Facebook page. Let the debate begin.