Tagged: Fitzpatrick

The Self-Destructing Buccaneers

Here’s how misleading stats can be.  The numbers will tell you that Tampa Bay had almost 500 yards of offense against Washington.  Based on that, the Bucs still have one of the best offenses in the league.  But what that number doesn’t tell you, is how much this team self-destructs week in and week out.  Two interceptions, two lost fumbles, two (more) missed field goals.  And most of that happened in Redskins’ territory.

 

Oh, and Dirk Koetter acknowledged after the game that this was the first time all year that’s he’s called the plays.  The Bucs scored three points in this game.  Yeah, that sounds about right.

 

Heck, the defense had what was arguably its best game of the season.  The Redskins got less than 300 yards of offense and only scored 16 points.  Everything’s relative, of course.  However, this unit still hasn’t forced a takeaway since temperatures were in the mid-70’s around here in greater Boston.

 

So now what?  Do they go back to Jameis Winston at quarterback?  Ryan Fitzpatrick has been making just as many as mistakes over the past couple of games.  I ripped Winston for bad decisions, and I’m not going to let Fitzmagic off the hook now, either.  Tampa Bay has 25 turnovers this season.  You guessed it: that’s worst in the NFL.

 

Keep drinking, Bucs fans.  No amount of alcohol can completely satisfy us at this point.

 

Photo courtesy: Washington Redskins

 

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Bucs Go Back To Fitzmagic

Fitzmagic is getting another shot in Tampa Bay.

 

On Monday, head coach Dirk Koetter announced Ryan Fitzpatrick will get the start next Sunday against the Panthers over Jameis Winston, who was benched after a dismal performance against Cincinnati.

 

Winston has thrown ten interceptions in four games, including four awful picks against Cincinnati.  The Bucs, believe it or not, actually have the top-ranked offense in the NFL in terms of total yards, and are getting it done primarily through the air.  But, they are minus-13 in the turnover department, and their scoring defense is still dead last in the league.  Enough said.

 

I can hear all the Winston supporters out there, saying Fitzpatrick is not the long-term solution.  You know what?  I agree with that.  But he gives Tampa Bay a better chance to win right now compared to the nightmare that Winston has become.

 

If the Bucs keep losing, you can expect a top-to-bottom house-cleaning at the end of the season.  It feels crazy saying that with nine games still to go, but that possibility becomes more real with each defeat.

 

Photo Courtesy: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Winston Benched: Will He Stay There?

I’ve heard it all about Jameis Winston being the future of the franchise, etc.

 

Well, this Tampa Bay fan has had enough of the future.

 

After a dreadful, four-interception performance against the Bengals on Sunday, Dirk Koetter finally put Jameis Winston on the bench.  If coach is smart – and that’s up for debate – he’ll keep the former #1 overall pick there for a while.

 

Winston’s four picks weren’t just bad, they were awful.  The passes were literally thrown right into the hands of Cincinnati defenders, the last one turning into a pick-six that finally led to Koetter to make the move.  Winston has now thrown ten interceptions in four games.  Ten.  I want to know why Koetter waited so long to bench Winston.  Why not put Ryan Fitzpatrick in to start the second half?  That didn’t happen.  After the change was made, Fitzmagic returned, and he rallied his team from an 18-point deficit.

 

There’s more blame to go around, of course, so let’s spread it.  Chandler Catanzaro missed an extra point for the third straight game.  How the heck is he still on this team?  Every time he screws up, it changes the whole mindset.  Do not let the Bucs’ two-point conversion that tied the game mean that Catanzaro is off the hook.

 

In the first half, the defense was getting shredded (again.)  But they held the Bengals scoreless for over 28 minutes of the second half.  Ah, but when Tampa Bay tied the game with just over a minute ago, the defense let Andy Dalton march his team into field goal range.  And I still don’t know why the Bucs were flagged for delay of game after a Cincy completion with about 10 seconds left.  In the end, it looks like it didn’t matter, because the kick that won the game would’ve been good even from five yards further back.

 

Coach Koetter, I was able to watch nearly the entire game, after working an overnight shift nonetheless.  Your seat is not just hot, it’s flame-broiled.  Do us fans a favor, and give Fitzpatrick the start in Carolina next Sunday.  Fitz is not the long-term solution; no one is disputing that.  But if you want the best chance to win, Fitz needs to be the guy against the Panthers.

 

Photo Courtesy: Pewter Report

 

More FitzMagic: Down Go the Champs!

I don’t know about you, but I kind of like this whole FitzMagic thing that’s going on right now.

 

Two games, two wins.  And we’re not talking about wins over cellar-dwellers.  The Buccaneers have started the season by beating the NFC South champs and the defending Super Bowl champs.

 

Take that, so-called experts who had the Bucs losing their first three games.

 

There is no question who the story is right now: it’s backup quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick.  Sure, other players stepped up on Sunday.  I’ll get into that in another article.  But Fitz is the headliner right.  He threw four more touchdown passes, two of which went for 75 yards apiece.  He had over 400 yards passing.  He did throw his first interception of the season, which was more the result of O.J. Howard’s inability to hang onto the ball after making a catch.

 

Fitzpatrick has eight touchdown passes in the first two games (and a rushing TD to boot.)  He is just the third player in NFL history to have at least four TD passes in each of his team’s first two games.

 

Let that sink in for a moment.  We’re talking Ryan Fitzpatrick here.  A Buccaneer quarterback is doing this!  Keep pulling magic out of that beard, sir.

 

Photo Courtesy: Tampa Bay Buccaneers