Winner: Baker Mayfield
The Bakery is officially open in Tampa Bay.
For all that was made -- most of which were bad jokes -- about Baker Mayfield succeeding Tom Brady as the Bucs starting quarterback, he's answered the bell in his first two games. Not only has Baker led the Bucs to two gutsy wins, but he's starting to put up stats that suggest he might be the long-term solution at quarterback.
That notion was a bit far-fetched when he signed back in March but it seems to have always been the plan. Jason Licht has been masterful at identifying the right talent and it was up to Baker to back it all up. So far he's done exactly that, and Sunday's win over the Bears was the perfect game to keep building his resume with.
Baker finished the game with 317 yards and a touchdown, but it's the handful of things that won't show up in the box score that deserve praise. Three times he used his legs to get the Bucs out of trouble with one of them featuring an absurd highlight reel sidearm throw.
He was also brilliant on third down. Baker finished the game 12-for-13 for 141 yards including a touchdown and six conversions. Twice the Bucs scored on third down, with Baker's 32-yard touchdown pass to Mike Evans being preceded by a touchdown run by Rachaad White in the second quarter. It's a small sample size, but already the difference is night and day from what we saw out of Tampa Bay on third down's last year.
Perhaps most crucially, Baker is through two games with a clean turnover sheet. There will inevitably be mistakes made, but the fact that he has yet to throw an interception or fumble the ball -- especially with all of the scrambling he's done -- is remarkable.