Jameis Winston had a stellar night in his debut as the New Orleans Saints starting quarterback but for him, Sunday night’s win over the Green Bay Packers was especially important for the city as it recovers from the devastation left behind by Hurricane Ida.
The Saints hosted their first “home” game of the 2021 season at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville, Florida. Fans cheered on as Winston led New Orleans to a 38-3 victory going 14-for-20 with 148 yards and five touchdowns.
After the game, instead of talking about his own accomplishments, Winston turned the focus to the city.
“That was for the city,” he said. “So, shoutout to the city of New Orleans. We did that for them. We knew how much it would mean to get a great victory for that region.”
He continued: “They’ve been through so much. … Hats off to them for their resilience, because they motivated us. They inspired us to come out there and ball.”
New Orleans is slowly beginning to recover more than two weeks after the Category 4 hurricane battered the state, claiming more than two dozen deaths in Louisiana alone. Most of the power has been restored in the city but thousands are still struggling without electricity and water outside the metro area.
A man takes pictures of high waves along the shore of Lake Pontchartrain as Hurricane Ida nears, Sunday, Aug. 29, 2021, in New Orleans. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert) (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell said last week that the Saints are expected to return to the Superdome for their second home game on Oct.3.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.