Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick
This one was obvious, wasn’t it?
Fitzpatrick’s 21-of-28 with 417 yards and four passing touchdowns were good enough for a 156.2 quarterback rating. Only two others in NFL history has a QB had more yards on fewer attempts. I’m not sure what else he needed to do to finish with the perfect 158.3, but no complaints. Not only that but he had 12 carries for 36 yards and another touchdown, with one of the runs coming on a crucial 3rd-and-11 where he picked up 12 yards. Four of those carries were kneel-downs, one ending the half, the rest coming during the Bucs victory formation.
It may come as a surprise, but Fitzpatrick had a six-touchdown game previously in his career when he was with the Texans in 2014, but today was the most points his team put up when he started.
He stunned everyone, and this is a fantastic sign for the next few games, and maybe even further if the Bucs continue to stay hot with Fitzmagic under center. Jameis may have to earn his job back from the 35-year-old veteran quarterback.
The receiving corps
When your quarterback throws for 400 plus yards, someone on the offense will benefit. Fitzpatrick successfully spread the ball around, so all the receivers make this list. The Bucs had big plays all over the field after struggling mightily to do so last season
DeSean Jackson started things off with a 58-yard touchdown to respond to the Saints’ opening possession score. Jackson wouldn’t be done. He picked up another six in the fourth quarter on a 36-yard pass from ‘Fitz’.
‘DJax’ finished the game with five catches for 146 yards and the two touchdowns. He, unfortunately, had to leave the game in the fourth with a concussion. Hopefully, he comes back fully healthy next week against one of the best defenses in the league.
Mike Evans would not be outdone as he recorded one more yard than Jackson. Evans finished with seven catches for 147 yards and one 50-yard touchdown. Marshon Lattimore and Evans had a minor feud last season, but Evans got the best of him and the Saints on Sunday.
Chris Godwin shouldn’t go without recognition either. He finished with only three catches for 41 yards, a touchdown, and an amazing one-handed diving catch. His scoring catch wasn’t too shabby either with a perfectly placed ball on a back-shoulder throw in the second quarter.
The Bucs weapons were on full display this week and should only get better as the season goes on.