You can’t do it anymore. You can’t defend the play of Jameis Winston. In a must win situation Winston threw four interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown. In just thirteen quarters of play, Winston has eleven turnover.
Can’t win with ‘em. Can’t coach with ‘em. Can’t do it.
The comeback bid of Fitzmagic which saw eighteen points in the fourth quarter was squashed by a Randy Bullock 44-yard field goal as time expired, giving the Bengals a 37-34 win over the Bucs.
Let’s Pick Six.
Six Topics Suitable For Conversation
1.) Jameis Has To Stay On The Bench. No, Ryan Fitzpatrick isn’t the long term answer, but it’s appearing more and more likely that Jameis Winston isn’t either. I’ve been a long time Winston defender and apologist, but he keeps putting this team in bad situations with his poor decision making. As soon as he was benched and Fitz hit the field, there was immediate results and the come back was on. Fitz hit Mike Evans on a 72-yard touchdown - the longest reception of Evans’ career. That is something Winston hasn’t done and can’t do with any type of consistency. Fitz has to remain the starter moving forward if the Bucs have a chance to reach the postseason. Even Winston’s body language in his post game presser was that of someone who was just dejected and defeated. If he doesn’t believe in himself anymore, how are his teammates and coaches expected to?
2.) DeSean Jackson Isn’t - And Shouldn’t - Go Anywhere* Now, you notice that asterisk. That is predicated on Dirk Koetter keeping Fitz under center moving forward. The happiest player on the field when Fitz entered the game had to be Jackson. After a morning of trade rumors and speculation, Winston finally connected with DJax on a 60-yard touchdown, but we all know that’s the outlier, not the norm. With Fitz, it’s the norm. If the Bucs are truly in “win now” mode as they claim is the reason they won’t move Jackson, then Jackson’s value skyrockets with Fitz heaving the ball.
3.) Have A Day, Peyton Barber. Barber was fed early and often, resulting in a season high nineteen carries and a season high 85 yards. If the Bucs can continue to keep that style of run game going and make this a more two-dimensional offense, they can be even scarier. Something Fitz didn’t have in those first three games was any semblance of a run game. Looks like that’s on the cusp of changing.
4.) Hats Off To The Defense Once Again. It was a rough start. The Bucs allowed 307 yards to the Bengals in the first half. After halftime, the defense allowed only 95 total yards to the Bengals including forcing four consecutive 3-and-outs. That’s what kept the Bucs in this game. Even though Winston would give the ball right back, the defense kept them close enough for a near miracle comeback. Duffner is making the right moves and right adjustments. We’ve seen vast improvements the last two weeks. Things will only continue to trend upwards the longer Duffer implements his style.
5.) Jason Pierre-Paul Is The Best Acquisition This Team Has Made In Over A Decade. With his second multi-sack game and his sixth consecutive game with a sack - tying Simeon Rice for the most consecutive games in team history to record a sack - JPP has shown his worth and then some. He is two sacks away from breaking the double-digit sack curse and there are nine games left. He’s a leader, he’s a game changer, and he’s worth every penny he’s making this season and every season beyond. Kudos to Jason Licht for making that move.
6.) The Bucs Must Beat The Panthers. There is little to no chance this team will be able to reach the postseason (yes, the postseason - they’re still very much in it) if they can’t beat a red hot Panthers team. It would make them 2-1 in the division and give them another conference win which will come up big later on. If there was ever a must win, it’s this coming week in Carolina.
Six Numbers To Consider
154.9 - Ryan Fitzpatrick’s passer rating after entering at the end of the third quarter
47.7 - Jameis Winston’s passer rating in the first three quarters
38% - Bengals’ third down efficiency
4 - Missed extra points by Chandler Catanzaro this season
24 - Career touchdowns of 60+ yards for DJax, most in NFL history
576 - Bucs total yards vs. Bengals, a franchise record for most in a game
Six Best Tweets (In No Particular Order)
Bucs got their QB situation muddied today. Jameis Winston player poorly and turned the ball over four times. Ryan Fitzpatrick brought them back from 18 down to tie the game. Big decision for Dirk Koetter going forward—who is your QB?— Tony Dungy (@TonyDungy) October 28, 2018
Bucs need to fire Mike Smith again.— Ross Tucker (@RossTuckerNFL) October 28, 2018
After 4 years, the answer to the Mariota-Winston debate is settling in at No.— Gregg Rosenthal (@greggrosenthal) October 28, 2018
Six Top Performers
6.) DeSean Jackson - 68 yards on three receptions including a 60-yard touchdown to get the Bucs on the board
5.) Adam Humphries - One of the best catches by a Buc this season early in the game. Humph finished with a team high seven receptions.
4.) Carlton Davis - Tall order for a rookie to cover A.J. Green, but Davis was very impressive in that role. Showing some strong potential moving forward.
3.) Jason Pierre-Paul - Game. Wrecker. JPP finished with two sacks, giving him eight on the season.
2.) Ryan Fitzpatrick - Barely over one quarter of play, Fitz went 11/15 for 194 yards, two touchdowns, and a two-point conversion. Leave him in.
1.) Mike Evans - Six receptions, 179 yards, and a touchdown. His 72-yard touchdown from Fitz was a personal best and ignited the offense’s comeback attempt.
Six Super Bowl Bets
1.) Los Angeles Rams - No stopping them
2.) New England Patriots - Still trust them in January far more than an Andy Reid team
3.) New Orleans Saints - Lost week one, since then they’ve been fire
4.) Kansas City Chiefs - They are so much fun to watch, but still waiting for the bottom to fall out
5.) Pittsburgh Steelers - They’re clicking - and they don’t even need Le’Veon
24.) Tampa Bay Buccaneers - The most befuddling team in the NFL, bar none.