Things looked a little different for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Saturday night. For starters, the team notched its first win of the preseason, beating the New York Jets 13-6.
Speaking of starters, the battle between Baker Mayfield and Kyle Trask for who will be QB1 also looked a bit different from how it did when the Bucs opened the preseason last Friday. Before the Jets game, head coach Todd Bowles named Trask the starter which is in keeping with his strategy to split time evenly between his two quarterbacks.
Baker started the Friday opener against Pittsburgh and suited up for action on Saturday night, however, he never saw the field. Trask played the entire first half and then finished the game after coming in to replace an injured John Wolford.
There's a lot to read into there.
No official call has been made on who the Bucs starting quarterback will be, but we might have gotten out first big indication of where things are breaking on Saturday night. Trask was pretty decent, but the fact that Mayfield didn't play at all -- essentially wasting a game of live action for coaches to assess -- seems to suggest a frontrunner has been established.
It seemed like a tipping of the hand, but after the game Bowles attempted to set the record straight.
Buccaneers News: Todd Bowles gives update on QB battle after Week 2 preseason win
While Mayfield not playing indicates he's going to be named the starter, Bowles seemed to suggest a decision isn't going to come this week.
In rather cryptic fashion, Bowles said that 'everybody' will probably play in the team's final preseason game next weekend. What that means for the quarterback decision is anyone's guess, as Bowles continues to play things close to the chest.
It's still very possible that Mayfield gets named the starter this week and still plays in the final preseason game as a final tuneup before Week 1. Mayfield appears to be the frontrunner, as has been the case ever since he signed back in March, but it's clear the Bucs coaches aren't going to rush into such a big decision.
For his part, Trask played as well as we've seen him on Saturday night. He finished the win over New York going 20-for-28, throwing for 218 yards and a touchdown. Perhaps most notably, he finished the game with a clean sheet, and his only fumble of the game was recovered by the offense.
It still might not be enough, though. The deck was always stacked against Trask but at the very least the Bucs know they have a solid backup option behind Mayfield, and Trask has built a strong enough case to be considered in a quarterback battle next offseason.
Only Bowles knows what he's thinking in terms of where he's at with a decision on a starting quarterback, Trask played great, Mayfield didn't play at all, and it sounds like we're still a week away from hearing a final decision one way or the other.