The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are off to a crazy start, winning their first two games in large part because quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick is having the best run of his career. In two games, he has completed 78.7 percent of his passes for a league-leading 819 yards, and eight touchdowns to just one interception.
The Bucs two wins have come over seemingly solid teams: on the road against the New Orleans Saints and then at home against the defending champions Philadelphia Eagles. This week, they host the Pittsburgh Steelers on Monday Night Football. They follow that up with a road game against the Chicago Bears in Week 4, and then a bye week.
After the Steelers game, things get really interesting. The NFL suspended Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston for the first three games of the season for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy. He was accused of groping an Uber driver, and while he has not faced criminal charges, he currently faces a lawsuit over the matter.
The Bucs spent the No. 1 overall pick of the 2015 NFL Draft on Winston. He’s looked good for stretches, but has shown a lot of inconsistency. This is the fourth year of his rookie contract, and the Bucs exercised his fifth year option for 2019. If he is on the roster next March, his 2019 salary will become fully guaranteed.
Given how well Fitzpatrick is currently playing, will Winston get the starting job back when he returns from suspension? More importantly for us as 49ers fans, will he be playing when the 49ers travel to Tampa Bay in Week 12?
I would be stunned if Winston did not reclaim his starting job. We know what Ryan Fitzpatrick is as a 35 year old quarterback (he turns 36 the day before the 49ers game!). Yes, he’s playing extraordinarily well, but at some point he will regress to his mean. But what if he puts up another huge game against the Steelers? Do you start him in Week 4 against the Bears and then assess things during the bye week?
The Steelers defense stinks, and I expect another solid performance from Fitzmagic. If I were to project things out, I could see a big performance in Week 3, a chance to start in Chicago followed by a bad performance against a great Bears defense, and then Winston is starting again after the bye week. How do you see it shaking out now and when Week 12 arrives?
Who will be the Bucs starting quarterback vs. the 49ers in Week 12?
This poll is closed