Who should start for Tampa Bay Ryan Fitzpatrick or Jameis Winston?
Quarterback Jameis Winston’s suspension is officially over, but getting his starting job back from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers won’t be an easy task. During his absence from the team, backup QB Ryan Fitzpatrick got the first three starts to open up the season and he did not disappoint one bit. Fitzpatrick is coming off Week 3 with throwing three consecutive 400-yard passing games. In that historic span, Tampa Bay would win two of those games as they currently hold the top spot in the NFC South.
There simple is not an excuse to bench a quarterback who has won more games than expected, and write himself in the NFL history books with his latest performances. Now a lot of fans may look at this recent stint with Fitzpatrick and remind everyone, Jameis Winston has always been our number one QB and has led us to success in the past. That is where they are wrong. Fitzpatrick should be starting without a doubt in Week 4 and here is why.
First, Fitzpatrick actually outplayed Winston last year. When Winston was injured, the backup QB would once again come and save the Buccaneers as he went 2-1 in the three games. However, Winston took the Buccaneers to a dreadful 2-10 record in 13 games when he started. Spot the difference? Through three games this year, Fitzpatrick has outperformed better than Winston has ever played with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in a three-game stretch. Winston might wear the captain patch and have a higher following than Fitzpatrick, but this is the easiest question to answer in week 4.
Over the past 12 Buccaneers game, both Fitzpatrick and Winston have started in six games. In those six quality starts by Fitzpatrick, the Bucs finished with a 4-2 record. On the flip side, In Winston’s six games starting for the Bucs ended in a 1-5 record. Well maybe Fitzpatrick got luck and got some extra points from the defense/special teams. Wrong again. In those same six games, Winston averaged 275.2 passing yards per game and thew for nine touchdowns. However on the more successful side, Fitzpatrick averaged 329.2 passing yards per game and threw for 14 touchdowns. It is the same offensive line, why is Fitzpatrick having better success? This is where Fitzpatrick truly overtakes Winston as the better quarterback down the stretch due to his veteran experience with understanding pass rush and the perfect time to escape the pocket.
In those same 12 games that were split evenly by both these QB’s, Winston has been sacked 22 times and fumbled seven times. Fitzpatrick was only sacked eight times and never fumbled the ball. Head coach Dirk Koetter needs to realize that QB Jameis Winston might be the answer down the road given more time to learn, but QB Ryan Fitzpatrick is the answer to win right now. The Winston era so far for the Buccaneers has been a huge disappointment. However there is no need to throw in a new QB in hopes he showcases his future potential. They have a QB who is winning games against playoff potential teams at the moment. Let Winston sit until the Fitzmagic starts to wear off.