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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

After fantastic debut, “Play Fitzpatrick” gaining momentum

Florida Football Insiders

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Sep 9, 2018; New Orleans, LA, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) looks to throw against the New Orleans Saints in the second quarter at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports
Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

Granted it’s only one game, but oh, what a game it was for veteran Bucs QB Ryan Fitzpatrick Sunday in New Orleans. Fitzpatrick had a career passing day with 417 yards and four touchdowns through the air and an additional rushing touchdown in Tampa Bay’s record 48-40 win against the Saints.

Just days after Bucs fans and national media were wondering if the Bucs would win a game with the 14 year veteran at the helm during Jameis Winston’s suspension, the narrative is reversed.

Now, everywhere you read or watch, it has become “If he plays well, you have to play Fitzpatrick.”

Want some examples?

Tuesday morning on the NFL Network’s “Good Morning Football,” guest NFL media insider Mike Garafolo had a quick answer in the “Believe it or not” segment they were doing:

That wasn’t the only show voluntarily touting the 35 year old Fitzpatrick. Back on Monday night on CBS Sports Network and their “NFL Monday QB” show, analysts and former QBs Rich Gannon and Trent Green both agreed that if his play is still solid or better that the Bucs should stick with Fitzpatrick, even when Winston is back.

Look. We all realize that the Buccaneers have always felt that Winson can lead them to the post-season and beyond. The problem is that with the NFL mandated suspension for three games, he’s away entirely from the team.

And if Fitzpatrick continues to throw/play well, and most importantly, the Bucs knock off the Super Bowl champion Eagles? Then, this debate will gather an overwhelming amount of believers that he should remain starting and playing significantly.

Now, that’s going to be “easier said than done,” especially considering the defense that the Eagles has for this one, too.

So, there will be lots of eyes locally and a big number nationally and on the internet ready to sing Fitzpatrick’s praises, if he succeeds on the big stand alone stage.

And a victory would put the Bucs in a very interesting spot with both QBs

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