So, after the Tampa Bay Buccaneers unbelievable start to the season, the question on most people’s lips is ‘When does Jameis Winston get his job back?’
Debates have raged between “this is Jameis’ team he’ll be back in week 4” to “never” and everything in-between. The answer is simple as far as I’m concerned. Winston will be back in the team once Fitzmagic cools down. And this is from someone who, before the start of the season, was just looking forward to getting the first three games out the way.
Two games, two wins. One on the road against last seasons Divisional winners, the other at home against the reigning Super Bowl champions. Eight touchdowns, 819 yards and a QB rating of 151.5. The first man to open an NFL season with back to back four touchdown, 400+ yard games. Fitz is on fire and is sailing this Buccaneers ship as long as his hands are hot.
Throughout the 2016 and 2017 seasons, Tampa managed a grand total of one play of 50+ yards. ONE! Over the course of the opening two games of the 2018 season, the Bucs already have 4-off plays of 50 yards or more.
As if two 50+ yards plays in the Mercedes Superdome wasn’t enough, the veteran signal-caller added a pair of 75 yard touchdowns to his worldy 2018 stats.
After torching the Saints Defense, the Bucs were told that the Eagles Defense was an entirely different beast. Better than the Saints, yes, but it only took 11 seconds for the Bucs to show that even against one of the top Defences in the league, Tampa are a handful for anyone at the moment as Fitzpatrick found former Eagle, DeSean Jackson, on a post route as he took it all the way to the house to send the home support into raptures. Just to prove that it was no fluke, Fitz then did it again as he found Tight End, OJ Howard, across the middle as Howard then took it down the sideline for second 75 yard touchdown of the first half alone.
How long can Fitzpatrick keep this streak going? Next up is Pittsburgh at home. The Steelers Defense was all at sea in their week 2 defeat at home to the Chiefs, and although Tampa lack the outright speed of Tyreek Hill (although DeSean Jackson shows no signs of slowing down), the Bucs have more Offensive weapons than the Chiefs and must be looking forward to playing against the Steelers D. The thought of a 3-0 start for the Bucs was, quite honestly, unfathomable.
Of course, the much improved Offensive Line is doing an outstanding job of protecting their QB. Although the Bucs need to run the ball better, Peyton Barber is doing a good job of picking up the yards on the ground but having Mike Evans, Jackson, Chris Godwin, Adam Humphries, OJ Howard and Cameron Brate as targets can only help in moving the ball downfield. Finally, the new Offensive play-caller, Todd Monken has to get the credit for turning this team into a pass efficient machine.
The role of the favourite is a title which doesn’t sit well on the shoulders of the Bucs. If this form continues then Tampa will have to get used to the raised expectations but going by Ryan Fitzpatrick’s post game press conference, this is a team not only getting used to the limelight but seemingly embracing it.
Now, who was it who predicted that the Bucs would start the season 0-3……….