Baker Mayfield has the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at 2-0, amongst the unbeatens of the league. The former number one overall pick has taken Bucs’ fans on quite a ride the first two weeks of the season. Let’s recap the quarterback’s performances through 2023 so far.
Baker Mayfield delivered a dramatic victory against the Minnesota Vikings. Mayfield passed for 173 yards and threw for two touchdowns without any turnovers— good for a 94.4 rating. The drama came late, when the Buccaneers needed a long clock-killing drive to ice the game away. With the pressure mounting, Mayfield himself, put the team on his shoulder pads. 3:39 left on the clock and the Bucs lined up for a third down and two. Dave Canales’ play action pass play call showed the trust he had in his quarterback to make the correct decision and execute a potential game-winning play. Mayfield faked the handoff, didn’t like what he saw downfield and took off. Running through a defender, Mayfield showed physicality and his patented toughness as he picked up the first down.
Just three plays later, the Buccaneers needed one more third down conversion to bring out the victory formation. This time, the team needed 10 yards. Mayfield took the team off his shoulder pads and put them on his arm, throwing a strike to Chris Godwin on the sideline to pick up the final, game-sealing first down.
The Buccaneers, unlike in week one, were supposed to win in their home opener. Tampa’s week two opponent wasn’t of the same caliber, so the expectations were different. The Buccaneers scored nearly 30 points on a depleted Bears secondary. Baker Mayfield threw the ball 34 times, completing 26, and he threw for over 300 yards for the first time since 2021.
Mayfield took advantage of Chicago’s battered defense and earned his first career 2-0 start to a season.
How’s Baker’s chemistry been with his top two targets?
Mike Evans and Baker Mayfield got off to a slow start, taking nearly a whole half to get clicking. The ‘click’ came when the two connected for a deep ball touchdown right before the week one intermission. Week two only saw the chemistry grow. Bucs’ fans know it’s not uncommon for Mike Evans to treat them to the occasional monster outing and last week against the Chicago Bears that’s what he did. Evans’ six catches for 66 yards and a touchdown in week one became six catches for 171 yards and a touchdown seven days later.
Chris Godwin did make the game-clinching sideline snag in week one, but he came up a little short of Mike Evans on the statsheet— Five receptions for 51 yards— Godwin’s week two statistics showed considerable consistency. He pulled in another five catches for 58 yards. That gives the Evans and Godwin combination 22 catches for 346 yards and two trips to the endzone on the season.
How is Baker handling his young, inexperienced offensive line?
Through two games, Baker Mayfield has shown up quite a few times as a productive scrambler. He has taken would-be sack opportunities for opposing defenders and converted them into safe throwaways, pass completions on the run, or yards gained with his legs downfield. Mayfield is not a running quarterback, but he does pack some athletic pop in the pocket. His use of his legs and the pocket presence he has demonstrated thus far have been crucial elements of keeping drives alive and allowing Tampa’s offense to remain on schedule.
Baker mayfield today:— ᴊᴀᴇ (@OkieFBfan) September 17, 2023
114.5 passer Rating
And this play
Tampa’s offensive line was an expected weak spot for their team heading into the season. This week, against Philadelphia, they will pitted against their toughest foe yet and it’s likely Baker Mayfield will need to continue to assist his blockers by becoming his own blocker from time to time to ensure Tampa Bay’s offense maintains its pace.
With Baker Mayfield’s current mailing address being One Buc Place. Tampa Bay is the home of the bakery. The Buccaneers' quarterback has the team sailing on smooth seas at 2-0. After Tampa’s duel against the Philadelphia Eagles, we’ll revisit the bakery and check back in on its head chef.
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