I am all for listening to virtually any argument someone wants to make to me. I may yell my radically different position back at you, but I'll listen — most of the time. But this? This I will not entertain. This is truly blasphemous.
Imagine having the balls to compare a No. 1 pick who just became a back-up following the conclusion of his rookie contract to one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever play the game of football based upon cherry-picked stats from one season. This is the epitome of fake news.
It has never been easier to be an NFL quarterback than it is right now. Making an argument which compares one player from 20 years ago to another one now where the numbers are similar is almost disqualifying on its face, because era adjustments have to be factored in. Defensive backs were actually allowed to cover guys in 2001 — and quarterbacks were allowed to get hit. If you showed a kid today an NFL game from 2001, they wouldn't believe it was the same sport.
And just for some added nuance to even the fake news numbers listed in this tweet, Manning's quarterback rating of 84.1 ranked eighth in the NFL in 2001, while Winston's 84.3 this past season ranked 26th. But more importantly, the season chosen for this comparison conveniently comes the year after Manning led his team to the playoffs for the second time in his first three seasons and threw for more than 4,400 yards, 33 touchdowns and just 15 interceptions — again, two decades ago. Winston did not appear in a single playoff game in any of his five seasons in Tampa Bay and accompanied his 33 touchdowns this past season with a cool 30 picks.
I'm just absolutely enraged at the flagrant lack of nuance and inflammatory misinformation being disseminated by CBS Sports. Please do not let your children compare Jamies Winston to Peyton Manning.
Here are some highlights of a quarterback who was not relegated to a back-up after five years.