Could there be a quarterback quagmire in Tampa Bay?
Up to this point, the Ryan Fitzpatrick renaissance has been all the rage in Tampa Bay. The Buccaneers quarterback has led his offensive unit with confidence in the face of adversity (mostly his reputation). His career to date has been a mixed bag; when expectations are lowered, or non-existent, Fitz often looked the part of a superstar. Any time he's come into sole possession of a starting gig, he's found a way to muck it up. But that doesn't begin to explain his team's meltdown this afternoon against the Chicago Bears. Needless to say, something compelled his coach to replace him for the beginning of the 2nd half.
Bear in mind, coach Dirk Koetter may have only replaced Fitzpatrick to inspire the rest of his teammates, like a sacrificial lamb. But the move to bench Fitzpatrick does come with the added bonus of reminding us all that a former Heisman winner was hiding on the bench waiting for his chance.
Jameis Winston's 2nd half play, which saw him total 145 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions, for a 16-of-19 completion rate, won't go down in history as a great compensatory effort, but it does make one thing certain: the Buccaneers are now in an unenviable position where they must choose one of two options that could decide the fate of their season. Ryan Fitzpatrick finished his half of the game with a completion rate of 9 of 18 passes for 126 yards, and one interception caught by Bears' safety Eddie Jackson. The loss moves the Bucs down to the 3rd place in the divisional standings.