Jameis Winston's Impressive Night Ends Taysom Hill Debate Once and for All

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The New Orleans Saints quarterback fight between Jameis Winston & Taysom Hill was, to all appearances at least, alive and well throughout the spring and summer.

It was over by Monday night.

Sean Payton made it clear that he loved Hilla, a 31-year old jack-of all trades who worked with Drew Brees more than he should have in the last few years of Brees’s career. Even Payton has to admit that Winston is a better option than Hill.

Winston nearly made it perfect, with nine completions on ten attempts and two touchdowns in three series. Winston beat the Jacksonville Jaguars one week earlier.

Hill couldn't do much from there but an 11-for-20 performance and 6.9 yards per attempt was not enough. Winston's 12.3 yard average was also unacceptable. Although he did throw a touchdown pass in the third quarter, he may have also been able to get away with an interception during that time frame. He did all of this against deep reserves.

The most encouraging aspect of Winston's remarkable chemistry with Marquez Callaway (field-stretching wideout at 23 years old), is that he was the recipient of five of Winston’s nine completions, including both touchdowns bombs.

Callaway's first deep touchdown was risky, and could easily have been intercepted. However, it was a throw that very few NFL quarterbacks can make.

We all know Winston. Winston is the guy who threw 33 touchdown passes and ran over 5,000 yards. He was also intercepted 30 times by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers two years ago. He'll probably throw more picks in New Orleans if he plays the whole 2021 season. It's worth finding out whether he has the ability to make a difference and can compensate for any interceptions he throws.

It's worth asking. This is a 27-year old who was a No. He was a No. 1 pick as well as a Pro Bowler in his rookie year. Payton has it in him. It's fair to believe that he can excel in New Orleans now that he is more mature and has more support than he did in Tampa.

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The post-Drew Brees Saints would face a very obvious ceiling with Hill. Hill may or may not have been a gimmick quarterback, but he completed six NFL passes within his 30th birthday. Even though he is safer than Winston, the tape shows that Hill isn't efficient as a deep pass receiver. These Saints are unlikely to be "safe", as they have failed to reach the Super Bowl in 11 of their past seasons, even with a future Hall of Famer.

Winston's boom-or-bust nature could be a blessing. If he fails again, you can easily move on to the next offseason and have more draft capital to find your quarterback in 2022.

Winston could explode and you could win 12 games to make it into the playoffs. You might lose 12 games and get a top-five selection if Winston implodes. Hill was the middle of the road. This is boring, and should not be what Payton and his veteran staff are aiming at right now.

This may seem absurd, given that Brees is a legend. However, this Winston is far more physically fit than the Brees who was in his final years of his career. According to ESPN Stats & Info his touchdown pass to Callaway was the longest touchdown pass by a Saints player since 2016.

Payton stated to reporters that he didn't have a timetable for selecting a starting quarterback before Monday's game. We should expect Hill to be there at least as often with Brees as we did with Hill, but Winston forced his veteran coach to make a decision before the first quarter ended against Jacksonville. He has to be the No. He's the No. 1 choice.

It is unnecessary to set a timetable. The Jameis Winston era should begin on Sept. 12, when the Saints face the Green Bay Packers.

Since 2012, Brad Gagnon has been covering the NFL for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter at @Brad_Gagnon