Jacksonville - The first half of Jameis Winston's tenure as the New Orleans Saints starting quarterback could not have gotten off to a much better start Sunday, Sept. 12 at TIAA Bank Field.
The 27-year-old, making his first start in place of Saints legend Drew Brees, completed his first pass, a 14-yarder to Marquez Callaway and led the Saints to scoring drives on their first three possessions as they took a 17-3 halftime lead over the Green Bay Packers. The Saints' first drive ended with a 44-yard field goal by Aldrick Rosas, the second ended with a 3-yard pass from Winston to star running back Alvin Kamara and the third ended with a 1-yard scoring pass on fourth down to Juwan Johnson. The final drive went 80 yards in 14 plays, eating up 10 minutes of the second quarter.
Winston did nearly as much damage with his legs as his right arm as the former Heisman Trophy winner scrambled three times for 36 yards. He finished the half completing 9 of 12 passes for 65 yards with two touchdowns. Kamara had 13 carries for 64 yards and his backup, Tony Jones Jr., had a strong half with 39 yards yards on seven carries.
The Saints defense held Green Bay to seven plays in the first quarter and the Packers only scored on a 39-yard Mason Crosby field goal as the half end. Defensive end Marcus Davenport sacked league MVP Aaron Rodgers once and had another tackle for loss. The Saints possessed the ball for nearly 22 of the 30 minutes in the half.
The game was moved from the Caesars Superdome because of damage to the New Orleans region caused by Hurricane Ida. The Saints have been practicing in the Dallas/Fort Worth area since Aug. 27.
New Orleans Saints fans make the trip to Jacksonville, FL for the team's home game against the Green Bay Packers in Week 1 of the 2021 NFL season.