There’s no question that when it comes to comparing the two quarterbacks the Buccaneers have to offer, Ryan Fitzpatrick has a clear advantage in one category over Jameis Winston: his ability to connect on the deep ball.
The big play ability of the Bucs’ offensive weapons has been on full display with the Magic Man under center, while Winston still struggles mightily in that category in his fourth NFL season. At this point, it’s something that just may never be there for Winston.
When Fitz spoke to the media Thursday, he talked about the big plays the offense has been able to convert on while he’s on the field;
“I think it starts with the talent we have on the outside and the playmakers and a tight end that can catch one and take it 75. We don’t have average players on the outside. I think that’s a lot of it. The deep ball is something for a while in my career that I struggled with, just in terms of accuracy and other things. Throwing to so many different guys and getting it figured out just for me personally – I think it’s different for every quarterback – but for me personally just getting certain things figured out those and the amount of people I’ve thrown to I think that’s really helped me. I’ve gotten better and better as my career has gone on. I didn’t have a strong arm to start with, so it’s not like it’s getting any stronger. I think I’ve become much more accurate on those 30-plus yard throws. That’s just something I continue to improve on as I keep playing.”
No question that if the Bucs are going to go into Charlotte and upset the Panthers, the big plays have to be there. Those back-breaking plays Fitz has been able to connect with Mike Evans, O.J. Howard, and especially DeSean Jackson on can catapult this team to a win in a huge divisional matchup.
There’s some optimism swirling around among Bucs fans now that Fitzpatrick is back on the field. Even for the most die-hard Winston defenders, there’s no denying that Fitz has been the better quarterback so far in 2018 and with his explosive play propensity, the Buccaneers have a puncher’s chance this week.