Skip to main content

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Winston No. 2 in "Air Yards to Sticks" found that Jameis Winston was one of the league's best quarterbacks at tossing passes beyond the first-down marker.

Photos from QB Jameis Winston's 2016 campaign.

With the 2016 season in the books,'s Matt Harmon decided to take a look at the third-down performances of the league's quarterbacks. Using a Next Gen Stat called "Average Air Yards to Sticks" Harmon identified Buccaneers signal-caller Jameis Winston as the NFL's second-best quarterback on third down. In its essence, Average Air Yards to Sticks represents the depth of a pass past the first-down marker.

"Jameis Winston popped as the fourth-most aggressive quarterback throwing into tight coverage, per Next Gen Stats," Harmon wrote. "With that in mind, it's no surprise that the second-year quarterback consistently chucks the ball beyond the sticks on third down, with an average of 2.1 air yards past them. It wasn't a major leap for Winston from his first to second season, but he did show some slight progress. His passer rating went from 84.2 to 86.1 and his completion percentage climbed up more than two points."

Pittsburgh's Ben Roethlisberger was the only quarterback listed ahead of Winston, with 2.69 Air Yards to Sticks. Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers, Carolina's Cam Newton and New England's Tom Brady rounded out the top five.

A look back at Jameis Winston's 28 touchdowns during the 2016 season.

Winston tossed 214 first-down passes in 2016, the third-most among quarterbacks with 100 or more attempts. He benefited from the strong performance of Mike Evans, who produced first downs on 84.4 percent of his receptions. No wide receiver with 25 or more catches had a better first-down percentage than Evans.

Winstons' go-to tight end, Cam Brate, was similarly successful moving the chains. He converted first downs on 70.2 percent of his receptions, the most of any player at his position with at least 40 catches.

Winston finished the 2016 season with 4,090 passing yards, becoming the first quarterback in NFL history to begin his career with back-to-back 4,000-yard seasons. He tossed 28 touchdowns and led the Buccaneers to a 9-7 record.

For's complete list, click **HERE**.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Latest Headlines