The Quarterback debate continues to rage in Tampa with the return of Jameis Winston to the Buccaneers. After his three game suspension for violating the league’s Code of Conduct policy, the franchise QB was one of the first to appear at One Buc Place on Tuesday morning. The very moment Fitzmagic became Fitztragic in the second quarter against the Steelers with a hideous pick 6, Winston wouldn’t have been blamed for thinking that he was slotting straight back into the starting role under centre.
Fitz being Fitz, proved yet again, that he can go from the ridiculous to the sublime just as quickly by balling in the second half against Pittsburgh as he was just stopped short of digging his team out of the hole which he was partly responsible for.
So, with Dirk Koetter refusing to announce who is staring on Sunday. I’ll give you my take on who should be the starting Quarterback and why.
Percentage completion rate – 70.3% (78/111)
Passing yards – 1230
Yards per game – 410
TD/INT ratio – 11/4
QB Rating – 124.8
The stats don’t lie, Ryan Fitzpatrick, is on fire.
The first man in NFL history to throw for over four hundred yards in three successive games. Ignoring the 2nd quarter of week 3, Fitzpatrick’s play for the remainder of the game, and, when combined with his play from the opening two week of the season cannot be ignored. It is also worthwhile remembering that out of the three interceptions, one was caused by one of his Offensive Lineman whiffing on a tackle, the second one was miscommunication between himself and Mike Evans, and well, let’s not talk about the third one.
Fitzpatrick has taken full advantage of the chance given to him as a result of Winston’s behaviour. The perennial back-up deserves the chance to lead his team into battle for at least one more week. Throw in the fact that the Bucs are on a short week, Fitz has been playing regularly, the Offense are scoring points at will and Jameis has not played a meaningful game for 9 months, then it has to be the man of many teams who starts.
The real decision for Coach Koetter is what to do after the Bears game. Tampa are on their bye week after the game in Chicago. If Fitzpatrick plays well on Sunday, do they run with the hot hand or will the fact that Winston will have been back training with his team-mates for almost three weeks by the time of their next game Atlanta be too much for the Bucs to ignore?
Love him or loathe him, Winston is the future. Fitzpatrick in the twighlight of his roller-coaster career. Don’t be surprised to see Winston re-instated to the starting line-up against the Falcons. Is that the correct decision? Well, results will dictate that, but whatever happens down in Tampa over the next few weeks, it’s been a long time since the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were this exciting to watch.
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