Riding The Arm Of Fitzpatrick

September 21st, 2018


So far Dirk Koetter’s football wisdom has his team undefeated.

Koetter has always said plays that determine wins and losses more than anything are turnovers and explosive plays. And the Bucs winning those battles.

The defense, even after being beefed up in the offseason, isn’t much better than last year’s trainwreck. The difference is the Bucs are forcing fumbles.

On offense, it has been the explosive plays guiding the Bucs to a 2-0 record.

Koetter defines an explosive play as any run play of 12 yards or longer or a pass play of 16 yards or longer. Koetter noted yesterday his stats show the Bucs have 22 explosive plays and the Steelers 21. NFL Films, where the stats below come via ESPN NFL Matchup) has a different definition of explosive plays. (See the graphic below.)

The Bucs are currently tied with the Steelers ranked fourth in the NFL for explosive plays. All but two of those Bucs plays have been passes. In the first quarter against New Orleans, Peyton Barber had runs of 23 and 12 yards. The other 11 explosive plays this season came from the right arm of Ryan Fitzpatrick.

So, yeah, Joe doesn’t think it is a reach to suggest Fitz is saving the rear ends of the Bucs.

So far.

39 Responses to “Riding The Arm Of Fitzpatrick”

  1. Big Stinky Says:


    Tampa is tied for 5th place with the Rams and Steelers. Oh yeah, and only one of those Barber runs counts as an explosive play. Fitzpatrick is responsible for 12 out of those 13 plays. Nice of you to give him some props. #FearTheBeard #GoBucs

  2. Big Stinky Says:


    Sorry for that

  3. Defense Rules Says:

    @Joe … “Koetter has always said plays that determine wins and losses more than anything are turnovers and explosive plays.” Totally agree with Dirk on those two. And of just those two, I think turnovers are the more important. They not only kill your own momentum and (some) cost you points, but they also screw the defense big-time IMO. Especially when those turnovers result in a runback for a TD or when they happen deep in your own territory so that the best your defense can do is hold them to a FG (happened quite a bit last year in case no one noticed). All of those points scored by the opponent off of turnovers by the Bucs’ offense show against the ‘trainwreck’ defense (ya, nice touch of consistency there Joe).

    Turnovers do one more thing IMO that’s critical: they cost us time-of-possession, meaning that our defense stays on the field longer (duh). And since most of our turnovers these last couple years have happened in the happened in the first 3 quarters, our defense is wiped out come the 4th quarter. Strange thing about not having sufficient depth on those DLines … players like GMC get the ‘opportunity’ to play 75%, 80% maybe 85% of the game in 100 degree heat. But their reward is well worth it: they get to be labeled a ‘trainwreck’ by media & others who get to watch them from air-conditioned boxes or living rooms while they get beaten up by 320 pound OLinemen. But hey Joe, isn’t that why GMC gets paid the big bucks?

  4. J Says:

    Get Tua 2020

  5. J Says:

    Trade JAboob for 2020 firepower. Go get Tua. He’s the superior QB

  6. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Per: Joe Hayden

    “He’s slinging it,” said Haden of Fitzpatrick. “He’s giving his guys opportunities. It doesn’t look like hope. He’s throwing that thing on time.”

    Lol, It doesn’t look like hope.

  7. NJBucsFan Says:

    The offensive is just Fitztastic at this point. I don’t see it ending Monday. Hey when Winston comes back he can eat Some of the leftover W’s that Fitz earns.

  8. Resurrection of Fitz Says:

    Arm and Head of Fitz are creating W’s.

    Fitz is also manipulating db’s to create open receivers. (Godwin’s td)

    I hope Winston is taking notes. I hate when he stares at his target like a neon sign announcing where the ball is going. When Winston masters this he won’t feel like forcing balls as much.

    Go Bucs!!!

  9. Resurrection of Fitz Says:

    Arm and Head of Fitz are creating W’s.

    Fitz is also manipulating db’s to create open receivers. (Godwin’s td)

    I hope Winston is taking notes. I hate when he stares at his target like a neon sign announcing where the ball is going. When Winston masters this he won’t feel like forcing balls as much.

    Go Bucs!!!

  10. Resurrection of Fitz Says:

    Sorry Joe! Time to replace my mouse.

  11. Bird Says:

    This offense has more weapons than in the history of the Tampa Bay Bucs. Going for 65 yards on the first play of the game. I literally get off couch screaming at the top of my lungs. My neighbors are concerned after these last 2 sundays .

    This is a lot of fun to watch and hope it continues all season. I will be there Monday night . Hoping too many Steelers fans won’t be like last time.

    Go Bucs! Fitzmagic time one more time ? 400 and 4? Connon mcgregor ain’t got sheet on Fitzpatrick baby!

  12. ATrain Says:

    Cue Winston Fans!!!!

    I wonder if the Titan’s Fans argue about their QB

  13. ATrain Says:

    Would like to throw out A


    When Winston returns if he does not win like Fitz is then all of the Jamies Lovers must admit it on HERE

    Oh Joe this is for you too

  14. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    One would think that with the tremendous success we have had with the pass that it would open up a few more explosive runs….
    I don’t thin it’s the play calling…..it must be that our run blocking is sub-par.

  15. OneBuc55 Says:

    What’s funny is no one is really mentioning the real reason for Fitzpatricks success…

    For those of you who watch and believe all the BS that BSPN spews; thinking we should move on from Jameis, you guys may wanna pump the brakes…Its kind of cute how everyone thinks Fitzpatrick is Kurt Warner 2.0…

    When I watch football I watch the game, not just the QB…The Bucs offensive line is playing like a a group of night club bouncers…Fitzpatrick is doing well but Imho the Bucs o line deserves just as much credit as Fitz is getting because they’re kicking a@$…

    As Joe mentioned in another article; maybe after the bye week can trade Fitzmagic to highest bider (Oakland) before he reverts back the Fitztragic

  16. Bucsfanman Says:

    ATrain- That’s a good challenge. Prior to his suspension I felt like he still needed to show us something. He had the same weapons as Fitz and the o-line is basically the same, sans one player.
    HE needs to show the Bucs something, not the other way around. He CAN and SHOULD be replaced if he can’t lead this team.

    It’s fun watching this offense lately! Go Bucs!

  17. Pickgrin Says:

    “the Bucs o line deserves just as much credit as Fitz is getting because they’re kicking a@$…”

    OneBuc knows what’s up.

    Fitz getting most of the press – and to be fair, he has played the best back to back games in his entire career the last 2 weeks.

    Our best in the NFL group of Receivers are making plays and getting some of the attention as well.

    Very good Oline play is the true catalyst for all this offensive production the last 2 games though. Its what was missing in 2017 with the Bucs trotting out 2 of the worst starting Guards in the entire league most of the season.

    The subtraction of Sweezy and Pamphile – along with the addition of Jensen has fostered a major turnaround in the OLine’s effectiveness.

    If the Bucs can keep injuries up front to a minimum this year – the 2018 Buccaneers are going to shatter every offensive team record for yards and points by a mile – regardless of who is behind center.

  18. budbuc Says:



  19. X Says:

    I feel as if the defense shouldn’t be judged just yet because of all of the injuries on that side of the ball. I do feel as the year progresses they’ll get better

  20. XC Says:

    I feel as if the defense shouldn’t be judged just yet because of all of the injuries on that side of the ball. I do feel as the year progresses they’ll get better

  21. German Buc Says:

    Bucsfanman, mentioning the O-line is the same than last year is sarcasm, isn’t it?

  22. German Buc Says:

    Found this one on NFL.com:

    “ONE MORE THING: The Bucs stop here

    I love everything about Ryan Fitzpatrick. I also love happy hour. But I know it’s best to get home before last call. And it seems like Bucs fans should heed the same advice. Enjoy FitzMagic while it lasts, but know that the close is as inevitable as the Death Star getting blown up at the end of Episode IV. And VI. And Star Killer Base in VII.

    And as you look to this coming Monday night, when the high-flying Buccaneers take on the Steelers and their problems — SEE: Le’Veon Bell staying home, Antonio Brown skipping practice, the tie with the Browns — you don’t have to be Admiral Ackbar to recognize that this is a trap.
    Follow Adam Rank on Twitter @AdamRank.”

    Too sad we can’t stand united as a fan base and call this BS. Instead, we are arguing about who’s playing QB in week 4 or 6…

    Coaches are expected to decide – fans are expected to support.

  23. Hawk Says:

    Fitz is releasing his passes at an average rate of 2.2 secs. It doesn’t take Pro Bowlers to pass-block for that short a time. But it still doesn’t mean they can run-block. Run-blocking requires *moving an opponent* in order to create a hole for the RB. The offense is going to get a little dicier when defenses start taking away the middle of the field, unless the O-line can start kicking a$$ on running plays. With the receivers the Bucs have, they can still be successful, but it will become much more difficult. Fitz is winning the close games by out-scoring the opponent, but at some point, the defense will need to start making it easier to sit back in our seats during the 4th qtr.
    BTW, there are three reasons for Fitzs’ success.
    #1. *Before* the snap, he can read the defense and determine where the ball should go.
    #2. He throws to an *open* receiver
    #3. He hits them *in stride*.
    Those three things are *the* reason for explosive plays.
    BTW, did anyone else notice which team is *last* in explosive plays?

  24. Bucsfanman Says:

    German- Not exactly what I said but, Benenoch and Jensen are the only players that are different from last year. Benenoch played limited snaps, but he played. So yeah, “ONE” new guy.
    I will not argue that they are playing better. But, o-line play is not the sole reason for Jameis struggles last year. My point is simply that these are the same weapons we had last year. For a multitude of reasons they are far more efficient this year.
    And, I’m liking it!

  25. Godeep66 Says:

    Great point Joe!!! Just imagine if JW (short yellow bus patron) was the starting QB; we would have a negative turn over ratio and be 0-2. You have a lot of these snowflakes on this site saying it’s the play calling, which is ridiculous. It does not matter who calls the play if the QB (JW) forgets the check downs once the ball is snapped. You see, ignorant people get rattled when the pressure is on. That is exactly what JW is…IGNORANT!!! Do smart people gran random peoples crotches? Do smart people stand on a college cafeteria lunch table and yell obscenities to every young lady in the lunchroom? Do smart people steal crab legs, as an adult, from a grocery store?….then purposely displays crab legs at his draft party? I’m not even going to bring up the other FSU allegations involving sexual misconduct. Jimbo Fisher enabled him by looking the other way and now we have to deal with it. Cut him now.

  26. Godeep66 Says:

    I abet he is either third on the depth chart or not dressed for the Chicago game.

  27. Bob in Valrico Says:

    Good point Hawk
    The mark of a good QB is the pre snap reads. Jameis has focused too much on line calls in past years. His focus should be on reading the defense and watching the playclock. IMO giving Jensen helps any QB focus on the important things like preventing the play clock from expiring and pre snap reads.

  28. Bob in Valrico Says:

    edit: giving Jensen line call responsibilty.

  29. German Buc Says:

    Bucsfanman – may I say, that – imho – the G Ali Marpet is much, much better than the C Marpet. A better LG makes live much easier for the LT so the left side is set this year – which wasn’t the case last year. With the left side set the new (and – again imho – much improved) C is able to help the RG (if needed) what helps to solidify the right side and the three interior spots.

    This is the reason Buc’s playcaller calls 3-step dropbacks and not 7-step dropbacks like last year, which leads to a much quicker release and less hurries, hits and sacks. When I saw the Bucs playing last year Jameis was running for his life, wasn’t he?

    And last year Jameis had a rookie WR, a rookie TE and a veteran WR who didn’t attend camp. So no, these were not the same ‘weapons’ (as German I don’t like the word), even if they are the same persons.

    In short: As you I am happy my Bucs are winning, I am very happy that they are winning while playing a very attractive kind of football. I just don’t see a reason to force JW out of town.

  30. Oneilbucs Says:

    The play calling is different. Ryan Fizpatrick all ways has 5 people to throw to. Those are not the same plays that Winston had last year. So yall can make fizpatrick y’all quarterback all y’all want but this is Winston team like or not I can’t wait till he comes back and all y’all haters will be mad . Fizpatrick is not a good quarterback that’s why he played for 8 different teams and never played in a play off game.

  31. Bucsfanman Says:

    German- I knew you were going to bring up the position change and it is a GREAT point! I think Ali played out of position last year.
    The 3 step drop is another good point. It seemed like there was too much emphasis on getting the ball downfield. They were forcing things for sure. Interesting point: A 60 yard pass does NOT have to travel 60 yards in the air. An intermediate throw of 15-20 yards to an in-stride WR can turn into a 60 yard pass. In other words, Just because you have the ability to throw a 60 yard bomb, doesn’t mean you have to. Get the ball in your play-maker’s possession and let them do the work for you.
    I think we’re seeing that more this year.
    Winston’s going to be given the opportunity to be THAT guy. I hope he seizes the chance. I think Fitzy balling out is good for Jameis to see, almost like a calming influence. He needs to be more patient and not force things. This offense is really humming right now. Man, if we can move the ball like this all season, watch out!

  32. D1 Says:


    I am curious what you are watching when you state Fitz has 5 receivers running routes. JW for the most part had 5 receivers running routes. Fitz is rarely going to get 5 out . Last week He had a lot of 2-3 looks.

    Lots of people saying it’s the line and playcalling.
    * the line is not vastly improved but it’s strength is changed.
    * the line is only a portion of the protection and make no mistake the playcalling has had to change because of JW suspension and fitz starting.
    * JW is able to account for 2 defensive players himself. Fitz can’t tilt the numbers in the team’s favour.
    * Fritz is helping his line look good far more than the other way around. Fitz makes decisions and throws on avg 35% faster than JW.
    * fitz doesn’t look to extend plays by scrambling around looking for a target.
    Linemen hate absolutely hate not knowing where the qb is and not knowing how he will react.
    * fitz doesn’t have any less or more 3-7 step drops, he has on several occasions last week stopped mid drop and thrown.
    * last year, JW on deep balls threw from a clean pocket almost 70% of time.
    I think that’s a ranking of 12 best in the league. So the actual numbers really contradict the revisionist history.

    * Completely humorous is when one narrative runs counter to the current one, without any one noticing. Ex. JW will be great if he has the same protection and time as fitz.
    -Fitz with rare exception has had significantly less time than JW.
    – JW is better outside the pocket on the run. Please ‘re read that if it’s not clear enough how the excuses just collided. Hilarious reading the ever changing remedies this week it’s this next week it’s that.
    – is anyone really confusing JW and fitz on a talent basis? Because I keep reading if they call plays for JW like Fritz or block……nonsense….If you’re arguing JW is way superior than Fitz then you dumb Azz retards turn right around looking for equal treatment. As if fitz is the same as JW just less so. Totally ridiculous to actually read it but troubling to see people are serious about it.

    JW is a hugely talented prospect, his best days haven’t happened yet everything is in front of him. Fitz is flat out a better qb today. Sorry not debatable.
    JW is close and the kid has sooooo much to improve upon . Think about that for a second…JW has tons of areas to improve and he’s pretty good today with all the deficiencies in his game.

    The real arguments should not be fitz vs JW. It’s jw vs drafting a rookie.
    JW is a guy you can build around. Fitz is a backup. Period.
    Question is will the Bucs build around JW or find another cheaper rookie to draft and use the salary savings to improve the defensive, the kicking game and
    The running game. JW was not capable of lifting all the deficiencies . So it’s better to get better in the d ,special teams and running game so the qb isn’t responsible for changing the franchise.

  33. D1 Says:

    Bob in valrico,

    One point, JW has not been in charge of or focused on the line calls. Evan Smith was then Marpet now jenson. JW is and has been calling out line calls but it’s to ck with the centre who makes them and basically confirms that they both see the same thing. There’s no reason why JW needs or should have that 100% on his shoulders …yet. He’s super smart and it’s just a matter of time before it’s all running thru him.

  34. Bob in Valrico Says:

    I see a player that is trying to do a lot of the things that Peyton Manning did at the line. I don’t think he has enough experience at this point to do that IMO.
    I think it also contributes to the delay of game penalties because he is trying to do too much and he hasn’t recognized the clock expiring. Its a chess match out there and sometimes that extra adjustment might play into the defenses hands like when Luke Kuekly faked Jameis into a play that the defense was ready for.

  35. GhostofSchiano Says:

    Cue the FITZYDUST…..ahhh sweet victory, that’s more like it.

  36. Dapostman Says:

    Let’s hope the Fitz that I saw in the 2nd preseason game doesn’t show up Monday Night. If he does it’s going to be a long game. Go Bucs!

  37. ATrain Says:

    Ok German I guess you missed the challenge

    Also yes a new Olineman and Ali moved back to G

    But Rookie WR Really Godwin got so much more experience over endof last season and this season and Winston still had two of the best Veterans WR and TE in the game

    These moves are no different every year

    How does that change the fact Winston can’t hit the long pass
    Can’t score in Red Zone

  38. Kalind Says:

    Y’all need to check back in with Winston’s last couple games last year. Dude was unreal. This preseason? Throwing to slip like Martino…he was the second highest rated QB in the preseason. But nbd right? The guy got Kavanaugh’d so he’s gotta go!

    Apparently one unprovable accusation IS enough….I lost that bet. I bet no one was actually stupid enough to believe that. I admit. I was wrong. All these Jameis haters are.

  39. bigdaddio Says:

    I think our run stats are a little skewed because a large percentage of our run game is trying to run out the clock for the last full quarter of two games with two score leads. I’d like to see our run stats in quarters 1-3.

    It also shows that we should not be changing the gameplan so drastically once we get a big lead. It almost cost us twice. Just keep doing what you are doing.