However, Fitzmagic ended in brutal fashion with a 48-10 loss to the Chicago Bears on Sunday. That said, Jameis Winston looks to start moving forward.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter has already named Winston as the starter for their Monday matchup against the Atlanta Falcons in Week 6, after their upcoming bye week.
Why Is Winston Starting & Fitzpatrick Benched?
Jameis Winston started the 2018 season suspended for three games due to off-field issues. The Buccaneers convinced Ryan Fitzpatrick to avoid retiring at age 35, so that he could help them out in the season’s first three games.
What ensued was the best start to a season for any NFL quarterback in terms of numbers. Fitzpatrick threw for 1,230 yards and 11 touchdowns in the team’s surprising 2-1 start. This delayed Winston’s return as a starter by one game, because Tampa Bay wanted to ride the hot hand.
Unfortunately for Fitzpatrick, he got off to a bad start against a tough Chicago Bears’ defense. This motivated Koetter to bench him in favor of Winston, who was drafted number one overall in 2015.
Winston should be Ready to Start the Rest of the Season
It wasn’t a great start to the year, as he threw for 145 yards on 16-of-20 passing with one touchdown and two interceptions. But then again, this is a Chicago Bears’ defense led by Khalil Mack that’s been giving all of their opponents’ fits. Now, Winston has an entire bye week to prepare for his Week 6 start against Atlanta.
“[Winston] is a guy who will be here way longer than me and needs to be playing,” said Koetter.
He’ll have some talented wide receivers to throw to, including Mike Evans, DeSean Jackson, and Chris Goodwin. Tight ends Cameron Brate and O.J. Howard are also a strong receiving duo.
This is likely a make or break season for Jameis Winston, who’s struggled with mediocre play and off-field issues. Assuming he and the Bucs can show some life, then he’ll have a longer chance to prove that he’s a franchise quarterback. If not, then the team could undergo a big overhaul that sees the franchise change direction again.