The title to this piece is slightly misleading, because in the short amount of time we've had the pleasure of watching Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston, nobody has been able to truly shut him down.
In the two games this past season where Winston was held to under 200 yards passing, his team won by a combined score of 113-9, over Bethune-Cookman and Wake Forest, respectively. You wouldn't be wrong to say those defenses held him in check, but does it really count if you're losing by half a hundred?
In order to pinpoint teams that have a chance of slowing down the reigning Heisman Trophy winner, we first must look at the things that make him such a special player. For one, Winston is never rattled. His 'Noles breezed through the season with ease, and the only major scare came in the BCS National Championship game against Auburn.
This tells us that building an early lead and putting the pressure on just might cause Winston to sweat a little, even if the redshirt freshman was able to then lead an impressive comeback.
He's also the signal-caller in a balanced but physical offense, which ranked in the Top 30 in both rushing and passing yards in 2013. Defenses that can fly around won't have the upper hand because Florida State's athletes are almost always going to be better. The task of slowing down Winston requires a physical defense that can slow down the run and force the star quarterback to make things happen on his own.
Even then, he's liable to get into a groove and rip your heart out. Which means the final factor is the ability to limit possessions and keep the ball out of his hands as much as possible.
Combine those three things, and you just might have a chance of shutting down Winston. Extra emphasis on "might."
Here are five such teams that boast defenses capable of shutting down Jameis Winston.
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