Countdown: Top 10 X-factors For 2018 – No. 9

July 16th, 2018

Oh, the drama is building. It’s Joe’s daily countdown look at the top 10 X-factors for your 2018 Buccaneers season.

Joe is pumped! Training camp is just 10 days away.

No. 9 – Ryan Fitzpatrick 

Is anyone happier than Fitzpatrick at One Buc Palace? At 35 years old, the dude is walking into an absolutely perfect backup quarterback situation.

First, he is sure to get a majority of first-team reps in training camp so he is ready to start the first three games of the season for Jameis Winston, as America’s Quarterback serves an NFL-imposed suspension for inappropriate sexual touching of a female Uber driver.

The beauty for Fitzpatrick is nobody really expects him to look like a stud in those games against the Saints, Eagles and Steelers, and the Bucs will be underdogs in each. So if Fitzpatrick scores a win or two and plays well, he’ll be an instant hero in Tampa. If he looks like a dud, then it’s, ‘Hey, he’s a backup against playoff teams. What did you expect?’

Joe expects Fitzpatrick to come out loose, extremely confident and ecstatic to have so many pass-catching weapons around him.

If he can rise up and carry the Bucs to one win in the first three, then he’ll have admirably set the table for Jameis. If Fitzpatrick wins two, then he’ll have created one giant QB controversy for head coach Dirk Koetter. Fans will be screaming for Fitzpatrick to continue — bedlam in the Bay.

The Bucs’ backup QB is one giant x-factor for this season, but the reality is he likely plays in just three games. So Joe can’t place him any higher than No. 9.

No. 10 – Noah Spence

And just in case you missed Saturday’s series introduction, here are four guys you won’t see on The Countdown and why.

35 Responses to “Countdown: Top 10 X-factors For 2018 – No. 9”

  1. Chris in WA Says:

    Looks like this will be Le’veon Bell’s last season with the Steelers. May be worth looking into next season especially if Jamies signs a cheaper low 20’s mil/yr contract. With the rise of Godwin he can step into D-Jax’s shoes opposite of ME13 and the money saved from moving on from D-Jax could be used to bring in Le’veon.

  2. ben Says:

    Winston is _America’s qb of the national football league…Really ,Since he has shown not to be a leader and nothing special after being taken first in the draft… So why is he America’s qb ? Or is this insulting to football fans!!

  3. Lucious Selmon Says:

    “Bedlam in the Bay.”

    Joe should get this trademarked.

  4. Dewey Selmon Says:

    Fitz. 3-0 71% comp. 1180 yards 8 td 2 int. 73 rush yards 2 rush td. Do you still hand the rock to #3?

  5. Buccaneer scotty Says:


  6. Roy T. Buford Says:

    No one should forget why we have to have this conversation to start with. Media types don’t have to pay to go eat stadium chow and see the game in person. The controversy stirs all of ’em up, not just the sports guys. In fact, many actually get paid to do it.

    Guys like me who have been lifelong Bucs fans, season ticket holders, and really want to like their local team and support them…have to dish out good money ($2K per game for me) to watch the backup QB play. Why? Because the Former Face-of-the-Franchise (FFF), Jameis Winston, let all of us down, broke the rules, lied about it, and got busted. We pay for it. Enough! What shoe will drop next with this guy?

    If the entertainment for the first three games stinks, thank Winston. If they 0-3 and still losing into October, thank Winston. Yup, anything Fitz can do for us, please do. ”

    Jameis is not the starter for a reason.”

  7. Lucious Selmon Says:

    When Jameis does return, the team should look into a nice pre-game Xanax to keep our QB from coming out all Jack Links sasquach. He needs to start opening games calm, cool, and collected.

  8. Roy T. Buford Says:

    @Dewey…if the Bucs start 3-0, you keep the hot hand in IF that’s why they are 3-0. The Bucs need Winston healthy anyway so they dump him if he screws his team yet again.

  9. Lucious Selmon Says:


    Mamma always said you have a wild imagination. LOL

  10. The Real Malloy Says:


    If those are Fitzy’s stats, I’m done with Jameis. Too much of a headache. Let Fitzy take us to the playoffs with a stacked roster and draft his replacement. Fitzy has a few more years left in the tank.


  11. Roy T. Buford Says:

    @Lucious….Winston should get Xanax pre-game and a good old fashioned dose of saltpeter daily to get him through each offseason…

    Or, the Bucs can dump him over the next year or so. Yeah, that.

  12. Lucious Selmon Says:

    LOL @ saltpeter.

  13. GhostofSchiano Says:

    and if a miracle happens and we go 3 and 0????

  14. Roy T. Buford Says:

    Joe’s article brings up a good point. Fitz has shown in his past two years at the helm he can produce. No, I’m not saying he’s a hidden gem and should be a starter…but he has performed and he’s going to plenty of prep. I for one agree with Vegas that the Bucs may not be much better with Winston–who may spaz out in whatever rehab is planned…for all we know. All that aside, I’m going to go in with the automatic expectation that Fitz can do his job and if the team shows up, they can be 3-0. Who goes into anything in their life saying they’ve already lost?

  15. Lord Cornelius Says:


    $2k per game? Are your season tickets in box seats or something and do you not live in Tampa?

  16. Defense Rules Says:

    Fitz is gonna do just fine. IF the Bucs go 2-1 in the first games with Fitz at the helm, Koetter WILL start him in Game 4 … He’d be stupid not to. Jameis will have been away from the team for 3 weeks & it’s not like he didn’t start the first 3 games because he was injured. Far as I’m concerned, he lost the starting job when he lied to his team, to his coaches & to the owners. Sorry, but if the Bucs are winning AND Fitz is playing well, he stays in. He may not be the future, but I’ll gladly take winning football TODAY over what folks have been promising us for 3 years with Jameis asour starting QB. 18-27 doesn’t impress me. The Jameis crowd can blame all those losses on the defense & STs if you want, but any team that doesn’t score doesn’t win. And this Bucs’ offense hasn’t been scoring nearly as many points as it should be.

  17. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Although I agree that Fitz should be a top 10 X-factor…..I still believe that our starting QB will be less important than our running game (if improved) and our Defense…..those two should win us at least one if not two of the first three.

  18. WutdaBucisthis Says:

    Yea Joe

  19. WutdaBucisthis Says:

    Hell to the naw naw naw

  20. Dewey Selmon Says:

    Hey Lucious, still waiting for Lee Roy to pop up one day. lol

  21. Roy T. Buford Says:

    DefenseRules is 100% spot on.

  22. Bucballbaby1984 Says:

    The Bucs will win 2 out of their first 3 games, if not all 3. Watch!

  23. Roy T. Buford Says:

    @Lord Corn…I have four West Club seats on about the 30 and two GA seats, about the 40…had those for YEARs and YEARs, plus two parking passes Lot 7. I always give the lower bowl tix now to younger family members who like to take friends or have date or go together…and take family or friends or clients for the Club seats. Without food/drink, about $1800 or so, and up to $2200 or so depending on how hungry or thirsty. So…I’m not happy paying top dollar for a second teamer because of shear stupidity. Two premium games this year no less.

  24. SB Says:

    What Bucballbaby just said!!
    I think we beat the Saints and Steelers.

  25. Defense Rules Says:

    TBBF … Agree totally about an improved DEFENSE and RUNNING GAME being keys to the Bucs winning this year, but I’d personally add one more factor: a significantly improved SHORT PASSING GAME. The keys to a winning Bucs season IMO are: (1) play great defense; (2) dominate the time of possession; and (3) don’t make dumb mistakes like turnovers & penalties.

    The Bucs’ DEFENSE owns #1 … They now have improved TALENT & it’s time to put up or shut up. The DEFENSE also plays a role in #2 & #3, but not as much as the Bucs’ OFFENSE does. IMO, an effective run game AND short passing game are critical to controlling the clock AND scoring TDs instead of kicking FGs. I’m hoping that those 3 factors come together quickly with all the new pieces on defense & under Fitz’ quarterbacking.

  26. Byrd Says:

    Bucs can be 2-1 saints run game is down Ingram and let’s hope bell holds out those are games we can win!!

  27. Bobby M. Says:

    I think the fans input is waaaaay overrated regarding if Fitz wins two or even three games….The coaches and players will know if he’s playing in a manner that’s positioning for success or simply the beneficiary of a few breaks. The coaches are trying to keep their jobs and probably aren’t thrilled with what Winston has created….I think the person that positions us for wins is who starts.

    As a fan, I watch to see the Bucs win, not how many yds Winston throws for.

  28. George Says:

    Really, I like optimism but before Winston got suspended the Bucs are looking at 0-3 with the tough opening schedule. Now we insert a back-up QB and the Bucs are going to win two or 3 games.

    This team was 5-11 last year and one tackle of Godwin from being 4-12.

    We have a undrafted free agent as our number 1 back. A rookie who has trouble catching the ball as our #2 back.

    A secondary made mostly up of rookies an second year players. A pot smoking nickle CB. A defensive line that is improved on paper but hasn’t shown me anything.

    How do you get wins against the Saints, Eagles and the Steelers. We will be 7 plus point underdogs in every game.

    2-1 please

  29. SB Says:

    Just read an article on MSN about Top 10 QBs with most to improve in 2018.
    Kirk Cousins was #1. JW3 was #2.

    I posted the link a bit ago but Joe’s filters wouldn’t let it go through.

  30. BigHogHaynes Says:

    They have turned their backs on JW3!!! We tried to tell ya…….way back on JW3’s draft day

  31. JameISNOT Says:

    JW won’t see the field.

  32. gp Says:

    I want Fitz to win, I want Jameis to win, I want the Bucs to win
    What I really really want is for all the Bullspit to end!

  33. Casey Morgan Says:

    After Fitz goes 2-1 he’ll get the game 4 Bears start because “Winston needs the bye week to prepare.” After he goes 3-1 we will have a nice QB controversy…

  34. Says:


  35. Buccfan37 Says:

    35 is not old for a NFL quarterback, mentally this should be a prime age to lead the team in a fill in role. I thought Fitz was older. I’m not worried about his ability to make a good showing, in fact I expect it.