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Odds Say FitzMagic is Finished for Buccaneers in 2018

Eric Rosales

by Eric Rosales in NFL Football

Updated Apr 3, 2020 · 9:22 AM PDT

Ryan Fitzpatrick and Caleb Benenoch of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers celebrate a touchdown
Ryan Fitzpatrick's 2018 season got off to a magical start. (Photo by Roy K. Miller/Icon Sportswire)
  • Have we seen the end of FizMagic for this NFL season?
  • Vegas believes Jameis Winston will hold the starting job
  • We find the value bet in Tampa’s rotating QB carousel

The revolving starting quarterback door in Tampa Bay has taken another turn as we enter Week 12. And Vegas believes it will be the final one this year.

After an abysmal performance by Ryan Fitzpatrick in a loss to the equally inept New York Football Giants – a game in which he was pulled –  Tampa Bay will be turning the reins over to Jameis Winston in their next game against the 49ers.

It’s hard to imagine that FitzMagic was a real thing, and propelled Tampa to a thrilling 2-0 start with an explosive offense. Hey, he’s the only pivot in the league to hang an L on the Saints this year!

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But this is now the second time he’s lost the starting job in just 10 games.

Is it a safe bet to see him with a headset on or clipboard from here on out? Let’s look at the odds.

Will Fitzpatrick Get Another Start for the Buccaneers?

Will Fitzpatrick Start a Game from Week 13 to 17? Odds
Yes +160
No -130

There’s a No. 1 Overall Pick in the Mix

This is a chance for the Bucs to evaluate Winston the rest of the way to see if the No. 1 overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft is a salvageable asset for them.

Remember, this is a QB who’s made a series of poor decisions off the field, that easily dwarf his poor decisions on the field – and that’s saying a lot, because on the field he’s been awful.

He’s alone in third with 11 interceptions this year, even though he’s only started three games and appeared in just five.

In a sad twist of fate, he trails only rookie Sam Darnold (14) and Fitzpatrick, who has 12. So Tampa’s Rymeis Fitzpanston actually leads the NFL in interceptions with 23. It’s actually a miracle that they’re 3-7.

The Bucs have picked up Winston’s fifth year option for next season, but that’s guaranteed only against injury. After mop up duty to regain his starting job, he was bad enough that he surrendered it a few short weeks later.

There is no incentive for Tampa to win games. Their only incentive is evaluation and the best draft pick possible.

We are Talking About the Bucs, Though

The only reason Fitzpatrick should see the field again is if Winston gets injured. This being the NFL, that is always a possibility.

But what if Winston is a train wreck through the next three games? What if the Bucs lose to the 49ers, then get crushed by the Panthers and torn to bits by the Saints in the subsequent weeks and Winston is a big negative factor in the L’s?

The only reason Fitzpatrick should see the field again is if Winston gets injured. This being the NFL, that is always a possibility.

That might be enough for management to decide right then and there that this is not their QB of the future. An effort to show their fans they want to put out a competitive product could have them turning back to the journeyman pivot Fitzpatrick to close out the year, knowing full well he can be a stopgap into next season while they draft their next QB of the future.

The Pick

There’s literally no value in picking no – due to the uncertainty of the NFL on a week-to-week basis. While this is more of a recommended stay away, betting yes is expecting continued dysfunction in Tampa Bay (likely), and would make for an interesting side plot while most of the focus in the NFL is ramping up to the playoffs.

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