Saints ride Jameis Winston's wild day to win over Washington Football Team

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LANDOVER, Md. – The post-Drew Brees era has represented a roller-coaster of an adventure for the New Orleans Saints as Jameis Winston seeks comfort in Sean Payton’s offense while also striving to earn his head coach’s trust.

Sunday afternoon against the Washington Football Team, the quarterback treated the Saints to every aspect of the Jameis Winston Experience – good, bad and ugly – but proved resilient and led New Orleans to a 33-22 victory at FedEx Field.

Winston opened the game with an ugly interception over the middle but shrugged that off and chucked a 72-yard touchdown pass two minutes later. He fumbled the ball away later in the first quarter and bounced back with a Hail Mary from 45 yards out to give the Saints a 20-13 halftime lead. Winston then tossed two more touchdown passes in the second half.

In all, Winston completed 15 of 30 pass attempts for 279 yards (season highs for attempts and yards) for four touchdowns and the interception. The Saints improved to 3-2.

New Orleans Saints quarterback Jameis Winston (2) passes the ball from the end zone against the Washington Football Team during the second quarter at FedExField.
New Orleans Saints quarterback Jameis Winston (2) passes the ball from the end zone against the Washington Football Team during the second quarter at FedExField.

Meanwhile, wide receiver Marquez Callaway led the Saints with four receptions for 85 yards and two touchdowns while Deonte Harris had a 72-yard touchdown reception. Running back Alvin Kamara added a rushing touchdown and receiving score to go with 72 rushing yards and 51 receiving yards.

The Saints, already battered entering the game, lost jack-of-all-trades backup quarterback Taysom Hill to a first-half concussion after he collided with Washington cornerback William Jackson. Jackson drew an unnecessary roughness penalty for leading with the head.

Washington quarterback Taylor Heinicke took his team on a rollercoaster of its own, delivering some nice plays both with his arm and his legs while completing 20 of 41 passes for 248 yards. However, he threw two interceptions – directly to defenders who had blanketed his targets in coverage – and was held without a touchdown pass.

Antonio Gibson had two rushing touchdowns for Washington.

Additionally, Washington’s pass coverage sorely betrayed the team. Winston’s 72-yard touchdown pass and his 12-yard scoring strike both came on busted coverage plays, and the Hail Mary completion came as defenders encircled but never bothered jumping to contest the throw to Callaway. Washington fell to 2-3 on the season.

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Saints ride Jameis Winston's wild day to win over Washington