Opinion: Is Fitzmagic back for good?

Opinion: Is Fitzmagic back for good?

Jack Kirk, Staff Writer

Fitzmagic is back, and it is here to stay.

Ryan Fitzpatrick, who started the first four games for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, has been put back into the starting line-up after Jameis Winston was benched late in the Bucs’ game with the Cincinnati Bengals. When Fitzpatrick came into the game, he helped close the 18-point gap and tie the game with about three minutes left in the game. Cincinnati ultimately ended up winning on a last-second field goal, but I believe Fitzpatrick’s performance was more than enough to solidify his spot in the starting line-up.

The Buccaneers turned to Jameis Winston during their week four match-up with the Chicago Bears after Fitzpatrick struggled early in the game, but Winston did not perform well enough to get a win. In the following three games, Winston went 1-2 and had a touchdown-to-interception ratio of 6-10. Winston showed poor decision making skills and an inability to make big time throws, which in turn displayed that he is not the franchise quarterback that Tampa needs.

I think that Jameis Winston could find success in the NFL as he is only 24 years old and has a lot of time to grow, but I do believe that this should mark the end of his run in Tampa, as he has showed the inability to lead this team both on and off the field. He lacks chemistry with some of the key players in the offense, like wide receiver DeSean Jackson. He has had off the field incidents that show a lack of maturity, such as a sexual harassment case that got him suspended for three games this season.

Ryan Fitzpatrick started the year off hot, going 2-2 and setting a record for most consecutive 400-yard games by a quarterback. He lead the team to big wins over the New Orleans Saints and the Philadelphia Eagles, both teams that were heavily favored over the Buccaneers. Fitzpatrick had a 13-5 touchdown-to-interception ratio, and showed the essential qualities of a starting quarterback both physically and mentally.

There are reasons to be concerned with having Fitzpatrick as the starter, but those problems are not as glaring as Winston’s. Fitzpatrick has been in the league since 2005 and has proven to be quite inconsistent throughout his career on the wide variety of teams he has played for. One year he could look like a franchise quarterback, the next he could look like an absolute joke. He is also 35 years old, which in football talk, is old. But if this is one of his good years, which his performance thus far in the season suggests, then I think a team like Tampa should take full advantage.

While Ryan Fitzpatrick might not be the long-term answer for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, they believe he is the best option on the current roster to lead a team that has hopes for a playoff berth. And with his performance this year compared to Jameis Winston’s, it is hard to disagree.