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Buccaneers X-Factor: Player to Watch in Week 7 Matchup Against the Falcons

Who needs to step up this week?

Detroit Lions v Tampa Bay Buccaneers Photo by Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images

The Buccaneers have a huge matchup this week with the Atlanta Falcons coming to town. With the Bucs sitting at a record of 3-2 and the Falcons at 3-3, the winner of this game will be in first place of the NFC South for at least one week.

With this being the biggest game of the season thus far, Tampa Bay needs a big performance from an important position. This week’s X-factor is Baker Mayfield.

One of the biggest reasons that Mayfield is no longer in Cleveland, Carolina or Los Angeles is because of inconsistent play. While Mayfield has been solid for the Bucs so far, they have also experienced a handful of times where Mayfield’s inconsistences show up.

So far this season, Baker Mayfield has 1,088 passing yards, seven touchdowns and just three interceptions. Limiting the turnovers has been a huge factor for Mayfield and the Bucs offense so hopefully they will be able to continue that this week.

The reason the inconsistencies are mentioned here is because Mayfield is coming off a pretty rough performance against the Detroit Lions where he and the offense struggled to get going. The last time Mayfield struggled in a game was week three against the Philadelphia Eagles. He followed that up with what was arguably his best performance as a Buc so far in a Bucs 26-9 win against the New Orleans Saints.

So with Mayfield having a tough time against the Lions, could he be due for a bounce back game this week? He and the Bucs sure hope so. A loss and another lackluster performance this week would likely start to bring up some questions about Mayfield’s status as Tampa Bay’s starter, especially when they have a quick turnaround for a game in Buffalo against the Bills on Thursday night.

As we have seen on more than one occasion this season, Mayfield does not have to be perfect for the Bucs to win, he just has to be efficient and continue to limit the mistakes. A second straight loss to put the Bucs at .500 for the first time this season would make a lot of people nervous about what the rest of the season has in store.

The quarterback is almost always the most important position on the field and this situation is no different. Based on what we have seen so far this year, it seems like a safe bet that Mayfield will bounce back, but his career work as a whole says otherwise. Guess we will just have to wait and see which type of Mayfield Tampa Bay gets on Sunday.

In a must win game, all eyes will be on Baker Mayfield.