Baker Mayfield and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are 2-1, tied for first place in the NFC South. In 2017, Mayfield won the Heisman Trophy. This year, his goal is to win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers— organizationally and as a fan base. How's he doing so far? Let’s take a look back and a look forward.
Last week- Baker Mayfield and the Bucs lost their first game of the season to the Philadelphia Eagles. While Tampa is tied, atop their division and not in the midst of an official rebuild, they are also not likely to be a Super Bowl contending team in 2023— opposed to the Eagles who are very much in championship contention.
Baker Mayfield led Tampa’s offense to just 11 points. He also turned the ball over for the first time as a Buccaneer. With 2:30 remaining in the second quarter, Baker fired a fast ball over the middle to Chris Godwin. The ball was late and ultimately intercepted by Reed Blankenship. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers turned the ball over a second time just one drive later, when Baker Mayfield checked the ball down to Rachaad White. White, trying to turn up field, was stripped from behind by Jalen Carter.
Tampa Bay’s back to back turnovers put the Bucs in a 13-3 hole at the half. Despite finding Mike Evans in the endzone for the duos third score of the season, the deficit proved too great for Mayfield to overcome. The Bucs' passer finished his third start going 15 of 25 for 146 with a touchdown and an interception.
This week. The Buccaneers have a massive matchup coming up. Tampa is back on the road for the second time this season. They’ll be pitted against a division rival and potentially an old foe in the New Orleans Saints and quarterback Jameis Winston. Derek Carr has not been ruled out yet, reports are he is week-to-week. Whether the Bucs battle against their former Heisman-winning number one overall pick with their current Heisman-winning number one overall pick or not, the game is set to be gritty. The divisional face-off has grave stakes for a week four contest. Each team will be coming off of their first loss, eager to get a leg up on their division rival. How Tampa Bay and Baker Mayfield respond to their first loss of the season, in a hostile environment, pitted against a quality opponent, will be a telling predictor for the rest of the season.
Last week, the Buccaneers faced what has been, easily, their toughest opponent to date and played their worst game of the year. There were a multitude of contributing factors that played into a loss that does not rest squarely on the quarterback’s shoulders. One game does not make a season and Tampa has a chance to correct any and all wrongs from week three, with a week four road victory. Tampa Bay is still the home of the bakery and currently, the head chef is 1-0 against the Saints without a blemish on his passing record. Next time we visit the bakery to check in on the chef, he will have his first divisional game as Buc embossed on his résumé.
This week the Bucs are going to...
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Win! Who dat?! WE DAT! First place here we come!
Lose. This is gonna be a tough game. I'm hoping for the best!
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