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Fitzpatrick Favored to Start More Games Than Winston in 2018

Ryan Fitzpatrick Tampa Bay Buccaneers celebrating
Ryan Fitzpatrick will be back under center for the Buccaneers in Week 9. (Photo by Roy K. Miller/Icon Sportswire)
  • 2015 1st-overall pick Jameis Winston has fallen out of favor in Tampa Bay
  • Can Winston reclaim his starting status or is he done in Tampa?
  • Odds say FitzMagic is here to stay for the Bucs

To say Jameis Winston has had a tumultuous season (and career) with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers would be a major understatement.

The 2015 1st-overall pick was suspended the first three games of this season, paving the way for Ryan Fitzpatrick to start. That quickly rebirthed FitzMagic after a string of strong performances.

Despite that phenomenal opening act, Head Coach Dirk Koetter benched Fitzpatrick in favor of Winston after a bad outing in Chicago in Week 4.

The results have been dreadful and Koetter has reversed course yet again, sending Winston back to the pine.

Fitzpatrick vs Winston: Odds to Have More Starts in 2018

Will Ryan Fitzpatrick start more games than Jameis Winston in 2018? Odds at Mybookie
Yes -400
No +250

Comparing Winston to Fitzpatrick this season does not paint a pretty picture for the young signal-caller.

Jameis Winston vs Ryan Fitzpatrick 2018 Statistical Comparison

Jameis Winston
VS
Ryan Fitzpatrick

1,181 Yards 1,550
64.9% Completion % 68.1%
6 Touchdowns 13
10 Interceptions 5
74.7 Passer Rating 119.3

Where did it all go wrong for Jameis Winston?

Winston is tied for the league lead with ten interceptions, despite not playing in those first three contests. Unfortunately, it’s not as if this is a new problem for the former Florida State product. MyBookie even saw this benching coming.

Objectively, Winston has been a turnover machine, but does provide glimpses that he can be an electric and exciting prospect.

When you add the slew of off-field distractions and controversies, however, it’s clear the Bucs have had enough and are ready to turn the page.

The smartest play for the team would be to see if there’s a market for him at today’s trade deadline. The Giants, Jaguars, and potentially Raiders or Dolphins could be interested in the 24-year-old.

Those possible teams acquiring his services can only hope they wouldn’t be getting this version of Winston.

Tampa Bay has already exercised his $20.9 million team option so there’s a huge degree of risk in putting him back on the field.

Should they do so and he gets injured, that option is fully guaranteed for next season. Much like the Redskins did years ago by putting Robert Griffin in bubble wrap to avoid such a scenario.

It would be prudent for Tampa to park Winston on the bench.

Can FitzMagic be sustainable for the Buccaneers?

At 3-4 the Bucs find themselves among a cluster of teams vying for a wild card spot in the NFC, so there’s a degree of hope that the 35-year-old journeyman can lead Tampa Bay to the postseason for the first time since 2007.

Fitzpatrick will always the impossible answer to this trivia question…

This isn’t the first time the Harvard grad has gotten his teams fan base all lathered up and ready to go all in with the signal-caller.

However, each and every time he reverts back to form and causes his team to look in a different direction.

True franchise QB’s don’t bounce around to seven different teams, so at some point FitzMagic will likely turn to FitzTragic.

Have we already seen the best he has to offer this season? Probably, but the best bet is that Tampa Bay has had enough of Winston and won’t assume the injury risk. So they’ll stick it out and see how long FitzMagic can last in hopes of squeaking into the postseason.

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Michael "Hound Dog" Harrison is well known in the sports industry as the resident statisitician for the Jay and Dan Show. He has worked at TSN for over 13 years, where he's been featured on Sportscentre, That's Hockey, That's Hockey 2Nite, The Masters preview shows, and several more.