Leave it to Jameis Winston to ruin most innocuous play in NFL

In a recent game between the Atlanta Falcons and the New Orleans Saints, a heated exchange between former Falcons coach Arthur Smith and Saints head coach Dennis Allen stole the spotlight. The incident occurred after the Saints soundly defeated the Falcons with a score of 48-17. The catalyst for the squabble was Jameis Winston’s audible, which led to Jamaal Williams scoring his first touchdown of the season in the final minute of the game.

Winston’s decision to disregard commands and requests is not a new occurrence. Throughout his career, he has been plagued by poor decision-making, whether it be throwing interceptions or engaging in controversial actions. Off the field, Winston has faced allegations of sexual assault and settled a sexual battery lawsuit. His erratic behavior and disregard for norms are concerning and should not be overlooked.

The audible that Winston called, resulting in a handoff to Williams in the victory formation, is a clear example of the buffoonery that has come to define his career. While some may argue that there was time left on the clock, advancing the ball in a situation where the game’s outcome is already decided goes against the spirit of the victory formation. It is akin to quarterbacks pretending to slide and then running for extra yardage, a move that undermines the integrity of the game.

If we allow quarterbacks to do whatever they want with time remaining on the clock, we can expect to see an increase in injuries during the final seconds of decided games. The victory formation has long been a standard protocol in the NFL, and disregarding it would have far-reaching consequences. It is a form of protection for quarterbacks, who are already the most protected class of athletes in a brutal sport.

In 2012, Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Greg Schiano faced backlash for blitzing the Giants during victory formation at the end of a game. The move was seen as unnecessarily putting players in harm’s way. If Winston had been tackled on the one-yard line while leading by 24 points, the consequences could have been severe. The Giants player’s warning that the Buccaneers were risking cheap shots and further injury should not be taken lightly.

Winston’s hubris and disregard for unwritten rules are concerning. By opening Pandora’s box and ignoring the protection offered by the victory formation, he risks creating a dangerous precedent. The tensions between the Giants and Buccaneers eventually cooled after they did not face each other for three years. However, Winston may not be so lucky, as his actions could have consequences for his future as a player.

It is important to remember the unwritten rules that protect players, especially in situations where the outcome of the game is already decided. The victory formation is one of those rules, and it should not be undermined for the sake of personal gain or embarrassment. Winston’s actions should serve as a reminder that there are boundaries that should not be crossed in the pursuit of victory.

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