The Tampa Bay Buccaneers made official what seemed pretty likely. A day after benching Ryan Fitzpatrick after he threw three interceptions against the New York Giants, the Bucs will start Jameis Winston this weekend against the San Francisco 49ers, per ESPN’s Jenna Laine.
The Bucs had to open the season with Fitzpatrick starting due to Winston’s personal conduct suspension. Fitzpatrick threw for 400+ yards each of the first three games, and had the Bucs out to a 2-1 start. However, Fitzmagic started to come back to reality in Week 4 against a strong Bears defense. After a poor start with an interception, he was benched for Winston.
Winston did some decent work, but struggled with turnovers. He threw six interceptions over the course of three weeks, and then four against the Bengals. Fitzpatrick returned to the lineup, almost brought them back against the Bengals, and then put up some big numbers against the Panthers. Of course, as one would expect, turnovers were the problem. He threw two interceptions against Carolina, had two interceptions and a fumble against Washington, and then threw three interceptions against the Giants this weekend.
All of this is to say, the Bucs are throwing quarterbacks out there and just hoping they will get lucky on interceptions. Bill Barnwell summed it up best.
I love that the Buccaneers plan has basically become to grow sick of one quarterback for throwing interceptions, see the other quarterback play well in the second half of one game, go back to them in the hopes that they can’t be worse, and repeat.— Bill Barnwell (@billbarnwell) November 19, 2018
The 49ers are atrocious at forcing takeaways, while the Bucs are the worst at giving up the ball. Could something give in this game? Might the 49ers defense actually manage to get some takeaways? If they can’t do it against the Bucs, I’m not really sure who they can do it against.