The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have four wins this season: two of those, as well as all six losses, came with Jameis Winston at the helm. Two of them with Ryan Fitzpatrick, who’s starting his third consecutive game today with Winston still out with a shoulder injury.
The fact that the Bucs keep winning when Fitzpatrick starts isn’t really down to his magic, though. Fitzpatrick has played some okay football, mostly keeping the ball out of opponents’ hands, but the driving force behind those wins has been a defense that has found ways to stifle offenses. Not always prettily, and certainly with a very big reliance on turnovers, but they’re positive results nonetheless.
That defense will be heavily tested today, as they go up against the Atlanta Falcons, one of the best offenses in the NFL. It won’t be easy to stifle Matt Ryan and Julio Jones, who have blown out the Bucs repeatedly in the past few years. There’s one upside here, though: the Falcons defense isn’t good. So maybe this time, the Bucs will win because of Fitzpatrick’s play instead.
Here’s your first open thread for today’s game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Atlanta Falcons.