Ryan Fitzpatrick almost did the impossible. However, the veteran couldn’t overcome the mistakes of Jameis Winston and the Buccaneers defense.
After taking over for Jameis Winston, Ryan Fitzpatrick went into his bag of tricks and tried to overcome an 18-point deficit in the second half. Unfortunately, the Buccaneers (3-4) came up just short and fell to the Bengals (5-3), 37-34.
A last-second field goal from Cincinnati kicker Randy Bullock sealed Tampa Bay’s fate. Fitzpatrick managed to drive down the field and tie the game, but the defense broke in the final seconds.
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One more stand from the defense would send the Bucs to overtime for the second straight week. But overtime wasn’t in Dalton’s plans.
Amidst the Buccaneers loss to the Bengals, Winston’s inaccuracy and poor decision making gave Andy Dalton all the chances he needed to put the game away.
On the day, Winston went 18 of 35, for 276 yards with a touchdown and four interceptions. With the chance to get over .500, the Buccaneers flopped and the season is on the verge of spiraling out of control.
When Jameis Winston took over for Fitzpatrick after his suspension, it was clear that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were going to see if Winston could prove that he was the quarterback of the future.
After his four-interception day, this may be Winston’s lowest point as a Buccaneer. Late in the third quarter, he was sent to the bench as Ryan Fitzpatrick took over after his fourth and final turnover.
There is now a quarterback controversy. Fitzpatrick lit a spark for the Buccaneers and the team showed some late fight. The magic returned in the form of 11 of 15 completions, 194 yards, and two touchdowns.
If the Bucs want to try and contend this season, Fitzpatrick is likely the choice next week.
Penalties were a massive issue for Tampa Bay’s defense. Dalton used a voice inflection and made the Bucs defensive linemen jump offsides on multiple occasions.
Aside from the penalties, the defense played to its standard. Dalton had no problem through the air, and Joe Mixon put together a phenomenal day.
The first half of play was a disaster for the Bucs. Winston threw a pair of brutal interceptions, and the defense allowed 27 points.
With penalties and a missed extra points sprinkled in, it was a recipe for failure. There wasn’t much hope that the Bucs would climb back into the game after trailing 27-9 at the half.
Early in the contest, Tampa Bay went to the ground game. Peyton Barber rushed for nine times in the first quarter, averaging over four yards per carry. He would end his day with 85 yards and finding the end zone for his first rushing touchdown of the season.
With Winston’s turnovers and the defenses inability to get a stop, Tampa had to rely on the pass again. Cincy featured one of the worst rushing defenses in the entire league; the Bucs couldn’t take advantage.
A pair of Buccaneers pass catchers stood out on Sunday as well. Mike Evans had a huge performance as he hauled in six catches for 179 yards and a touchdown. Adam Humphries had himself a day as well with seven catches for 79 yards.
Next week, the Buccaneers will face the Carolina Panthers in an NFC South showdown.