Baker Mayfield Leading The Bucs In An NFC South Race Isn’t Crazy

June 22nd, 2023

Baker Mayfield hate.

Joe spends many hours daily researching stories and monitoring what folks around the country are typing and saying about the Bucs.

Man, are people down on Baker Mayfield (people aren’t down about Kyle Trask; they just don’t believe in him). Mayfield must have started quite a few wars with reporters. Yeah, Mayfield hasn’t been decent for two years, save for a couple of games last year with Sean McVay.

But dang, you’d think the Bucs are planning to start Chris Rix at quarterback the way people are taking shots at Mayfield. After all, Mayfield was the No. 1 overall pick in the draft for a reason, no?

Take Adam Rank of He sees folks piling on Mayfield. And, almost to be a contrarian, almost because it seems he feels sorry for Mayfield, Rank thinks the Bucs might have something here.

That’s right, Baker Mayfield is in line to be the starting quarterback for the Buccaneers. There hasn’t been a downgrade at the headliner position like this since Rachelle Lefevre was replaced by Bryce Dallas Howard for the role of Victoria in the Twilight series. All right, that’s not completely fair. I’ve always sort of liked Mayfield going back to his time at Oklahoma. And he did play pretty well in his five games with the Rams last season. It would take an absolute cynic to point out he played his best football of the season with Sean McVay as his head coach. I’m trying to turn over a new leaf and bring some positivity. I absolutely won’t point that out. He does have some talent to work with in Tampa Bay. I’ll keep an open mind.

Joe has no clue who any of these characters are that Rank is referencing. Is this supposed to be a good thing or a bad thing?

Look, Bucs new offensive coordinator Dave Canales comes indirectly from the Sean McVay tree. McVay may have saved Mayfield’s career. And Joe’s going to take that a step further and suggest the Bucs actually spoke with McVay about Mayfield before signing him.

Once again, if the Bucs can get good play from Mayfield, with the talent around him, the Bucs have a shot. And if Mayfield plays well, he’s likely your Bucs quarterback for the near future.

If Mayfield flops, no harm, no foul. Just go ahead and draft Michael Penix.

56 Responses to “Baker Mayfield Leading The Bucs In An NFC South Race Isn’t Crazy”

  1. Uhhmm Says:

    Panthers said the same thing last year. They almost did win the South too……. After getting rid of Baker………

  2. BA’s Red Pen Says:

    Joe, I think you are forgetting that Kyle Trask almost beat Alabama.

  3. kyle Says:

    BA’s^^ that’s the worst take ever. The 0-16 detroit lions would destroy alabama 10 out of 10 times played. Trasks performance against a college team has no bearing on his pro career. I hate that take, I hear it all the time on sports radio.

  4. wtf Says:

    Hyuck. ay der Joe. Dat Trask Guy. He’s so dern gud. He almost beated the bama team. Hyuck.

  5. rrsrq Says:

    Ummmm, did they almost win the NFC after dumping Baker Mayfield or was it after dumping their coach…

  6. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Uhhmm Says:
    June 22nd, 2023 at 9:11 am
    Panthers said the same thing last year. They almost did win the South too……. After getting rid of Baker………
    Yes, and Matt Ruhle makes Todd Bowles look like Vince Lombardi.

  7. Chris from Gville Says:

    I don’t get all the hate on mayfield. He balled out three years ago, injured the following year, traded to a terrible team and stunk, went to a well coached team and balled out again. Injuries and coaching play a big part.

  8. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Less than 40 percent winning record. That is all.

  9. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    I’m not sold on Dave Canales either. He’s a rookie OC. We really have no idea what this offense will be like, or if it will be successful.

    Only locals are giving Dave Canales any credit for last year.

  10. SomeDudeAtWork Says:

    I think you mean Kyle Trask leading the NFC South.

  11. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Would anybody else like to at least see Mayfield QB for one game with the Bucs before declaring him a winner or loser?

  12. Voice of Truth Says:

    This might be the biggest feast or famine season in the history of the Bucs

    Absolutely no one knows what this team will look like

    Ignore history and we are just as good as anybody

    Reflect on last seasons coaching and see a 5 win team

    Can’t wait for September but very concerned about October

  13. Marine Buc Says:

    The Bucs actually have a pretty weak schedule except for the three games against the Eagles, 49ers and Bills.

    The games against the Jags, Lions and Titans might present a challenge but the rest of the games are all against weaker opponents.

    I believe the Bucs can win @ 7 games but with a little luck we could win a few more. We won the NFC South with 8 wins last year. We could win it this year with 8-9 wins.

  14. John Sinclear Says:

    Kyle Trask almost beat Alabama.

    But for Gettysburg, the South would have won the civil war!

  15. Rayjay1122 Says:

    The Bucs will win the NFC South. Unless I bet money on them to do so.

  16. Bee Says:

    What has Baker done lately, meaning in the past year, that makes anyone think he’s gonna ball out this year. Baker has more picks than Jameis and he couldn’t get us to the playoffs. If half baked starts, we’re cooked. He helped the Panthers get a high pick and he’ll do the same for the Bucs.

  17. Who Says Says Can't Say Says:

    Mayfield’s shown that he can lead, and win on the pro level.

    Does anyone disagree that bad teams will stink regardless of who their quarterback is? Does anyone feel Carolina or Cleveland were not bad teams?

  18. Defense Rules Says:

    Chris from Gville … ‘I don’t get all the hate on mayfield. He balled out three years ago’.

    Mayfield’s had ONE winning season out of 5 years in the NFL when he went 11-5 with the Browns in 2020. That year he threw for 26 TDs & a 3563 yards with a completion percentage of 62.8%. His receivers? Jarvis Landry & Odell Beckham as WRs plus Austin Hooper & David Njoku as TEs, among others.

    Cleveland’s RBs that year ran for 2374 yards on 495 rushes (4.8 YPC). Two guys named Nick Chubb & Kareem Hunt gained almost 2000 yards between them, and tacked on almost 500 more yards catching the ball. Browns ran the ball on over 48% of their plays that year.

    Kinda tells me that given a strong supporting cast, Mayfield can be a respectable QB. A strong running game looks to be essential for him to succeed, as I think it is for most teams & most QBs. Makes their job a lot easier.

  19. Defense Rules Says:

    Marine Buc … ‘We won the NFC South with 8 wins last year. We could win it this year with 8-9 wins.’

    Anything’s possible, but last season was the perfect storm IMO (in more ways than one). It took all 3 of the other teams in the division finishing with the same 7-10 record for us to squeak in there with our paltry 8-9 record. Within the division, Bucs and Panthers went 4-2, while the Saints & Falcons both went 2-4. Lots of close games within the division, and had the Saints or Falcons done better, we could’ve been on the outside looking in.

    Winning any division with a losing record is definitely the exception not the rule. My guess is that one of those 3 teams will do better this year than they did last year, and it’ll probably take a 10-7 record or better to make the playoffs. We’ve got enough starting talent (I think) to do that; it’ll all depend on how well we use it and how healthy guys stay this year.

  20. SomeDudeAtWork Says:

    Joe why are you censoring my posts?

  21. KC Buc Says:

    Chris Rix….Now that’s a name I’ve not heard in a long time

  22. HC Grover Says:

    Mayfield will not be the problem. Fearless Leader Bowles will.

  23. Allen Lofton Says:

    The Cleveland Browns and Carolina Panthers have been dysfunctional franchises for several years and teams Mayfield got saddled with. He’s traded to the Rams and plays better immediately with a well-coached team.

    The Bucs still have good talent on both sides of the Ball and Mayfield could thrive with the Bucs.

    Mayfield was saddled with two bad teams. Unloading BL and attaining Canales could resurrect Mayfield’s career. Give him and the Bucs a chance and see how it plays out.

  24. Uhhmmm Says:

    redrocketsrq.. both. dude…

  25. SomeDudeAtWork Says:

    Allen Loften – Mayfield stunk up the field on the Rams go look at the tape and the box scores.

  26. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    The Guys at my local sports bar/watering hole are not fond of Mayfield.
    But then, few people are high on Mayfield.
    I am trying to keep an open mind.

  27. Stanglassman Says:

    Mayfield is the best 4 million dollar Qb in the NFL. But seriously I watched a few of his games with the Rams last year this offseason. He looked good I expect to see him do well the year. OL concerns me a because all the question marks and same goes with the pass rush. We really only need average play out of those 3 positions. Hopefully all showing improvement during the year. If that happens the Bucs will win the division and hopefully make some noise in the playoffs.

  28. JD Still Says:

    A very wise man once gave the following advice: “ Never buy fresh sushi rolls ,”On Sale” ,from a run down gas station in the middle of a desert”, and” Never entrust your franchise to a quarterback who got fired from three other teams in just the last two years without seeing him , and Kyle Trask , actually play in games before deciding.

  29. shankasorous Says:

    “After all, Mayfield was the No. 1 overall pick in the draft for a reason, no?”

    Sure, but that means about as much as college stats. Since the 2000 draft, 69 quarterbacks have been picked in the first round. Of those 69, only 10 have PLAYED in a Super Bowl, and only 5 of those WON the Super Bowl. Which means 85.5% of first round quarterbacks never even MAKE IT to the Super Bowl. Sobering.

  30. Dwayne Cone Says:

    Joe Sai: Mayfield was the No. 1 overall pick in the draft for a reason, no?
    Tim Couch and JaMarcus Russell were #1 Picks overall.
    What’s your point?

  31. Marine Buc Says:

    @ DR

    “We’ve got enough starting talent (I think) to do that; it’ll all depend on how well we use it and how healthy guys stay this year.”

    I agree. Injuries is a huge unknown factor for every team. Let’s hope we get lucky this year. Last season was brutal…

  32. gp Says:

    I see a lot of love for Canales and “his” system on these pages lately.
    Lest we forget, he was an assistant to an assistant QB coach last year. Those that attribute the Seahawks, and Gino’s success to him are, IMO, grasping for straws. He has not called a play in any game at all yet.
    We also have a HC who has blamed his OC for losing seasons in four of the last five seasons he has been HC. This is a big part of the reason, IMO, that Canales was the best we could hire for the position.
    As a fan since this franchise was first announced, I truly wish him luck.
    And I always want to see as many wins as we can possibly muster. Tanking is for losers and fosters a losing mentality on the team. A stench that is harder to remove than skunk oil.
    I really don’t care who wins the “QB competition”. I will root for whoever is under center. I reserve the right to complain about poor play after the game, but pray for stellar performances while the game is still being played.
    This season will hinge more on coaching than player performance, I think.
    I just hope that it produces fewer “NFL retirements” than our HC’s last four seasons have produced(forced).

  33. Hodad Says:

    Chris from Gville, in case you haven’t noticed Buc fans hate both QBs lol. Buc fan’s glass is never half full, the sky is always falling, and everyone should be given up on, traded, or fired. The torches are lit, the pitchforks at the ready, let’s storm the castle, and kill the monster. Wouldn’t it be funny if Baker turns into the Rich Gannon story? Not in Buc fan world!! Take heart. There’s a few of us who are willing to hope, and dream of things to come.

  34. BA’s Red Pen Says:

    Kyle, you should look up the definition of sarcasm, genius.

  35. Capeceiskaput Says:

    Poor Joe, basically having to keep writing the same articles over and over. I keep checking for new news, so keep the same articles going either way. Not criticizing Joe, just feel bad. That’s your attitude, but not Joe’s. This time of year allows Joe to watch condensed games of all teams, rewatch Bucs film, listen to more perspectives around the league, have extended chats with those less busy at One Buc Palace, etc. Most Bucs fans would do the same thing if they ultimately were paid for it like Joe is lucky enough to be. Time to cue up another Mayfield-Panthers game–Joe
    This is the doldrums of football season.. nothing going on. Doldrums.. that is kind of like my feelings about this coming up year… that fact that I believe (even though I like the guy) that Bowles is basically done after this year as coach, yet we did not enter full rebuild, it is all kind of depressing. I just get the feeling that we want to be the best worst team in football. I can already predict these games. Playing good enough for the scoreboard to reflect that they lost, but not that bad. Welcome to a lot of 24-14 loss games and could of, would of, if they just would have done, then maybe they would have or could have won games. Football torture ahead. If Baker didn’t fumble, and the D did not give up that short field TD, then maybe we score because we were down at one point 17-7, and we had just scored on the last possession to get to 17-14, so we had some momentum so we could have won 21-17. This exact or similar scenario will happen at some point, over and over and over again…
    Bowles news conference after the game, “We played well, we were right in it, we have some things to correct but we are almost right where we want to be.” Repeat same lines weeks 1-17…

  36. kyle Says:

    Ba^^^ didnt realize you were on the payroll with Joe as a comedy writer? Keep your day job sweeping streets please.

  37. WyomingJoe Says:

    I can’t believe all the Baker Haters on this site! I was a Browns fan for years and watched 20-plus dysfunctional QBs before Baker came on the scene. The Browns were 1-34 before Baker played his first game against the Jets and beat them. Like most Browns QBs before him, he NEVER played on a great defensive team. I think you’re going to be surprised on the arm talent this guy has. McVay wouldn’t have wanted him back on the Rams unless he had talent. I would love to have seen what Baker could have done with Cupp. Go Bucs.

  38. DBS Says:

    I keep looking every day and seeing people repeating the same thing over and over. Some writing books that I skip over. Don’t need books to make the same point day after day. Nobody will find out anything until practices and games. Then we will know but a lot of other factors will also contribute to how either QB may turn out.

  39. tickrdr Says:

    Question for everyone: How do you personally define good QB play?
    Some prefer the “eyeball test”. They tell me he has the “it” factor that apparently only they can see. The place I start is with the TD/INT ratio, which in my mind starts at a minimum of 2:1! Two touchdowns for every interception thrown, at a minimum. Why did I choose this?

    These are the fourteen QBs who made the playoffs last year, with their TD/INT and percentage of passes resulting in TDs:
    Mahomes 41-12 6.3%
    Burrow 35-12 5.8%
    Josh Allen 35-14 6.2%
    Jalen Hurts 22-6 4.8%
    Herbert 25-10 3.6%
    Lamar Jackson 17-7 5.2%
    Tom Brady 25-9 3.4% (career low!)
    Daniel Jones 15-5 3.2%
    T. Lawrence 25-8 4.3%
    Geno Smith 30-11 5.2%
    Kirk Cousins 29-14 4.5%
    Dak Prescott 23-15 5.8%
    Brock Purdy 13-4 7.6%
    Sk. Thompson 1-3 1.0% (Tua Tagovailoa 25-8 6.3%)

    So, the only outlier who did not throw for more than a 2:1 ratio is
    Dak Prescott, but note that his TD percentage is one of the highest.
    I haven’t checked every season, but in past research the playoff QBs generally
    all sport a TD/INT ration > 2:1!


  40. tickrdr Says:

    So, how about our current #1 pick overall, as well as other #1 overall QBs?
    Are any of them franchise QBs and future Hall of Famers (at least ProBowlers?)
    These are the #1 overall QBs chosen going back to 2012, with the number of
    seasons with at least a 2:1 TD/INT ratio and the number of seasons played:

    Trevor Lawrence 1 of 2 seasons
    Joe Burrow 3 of 3 seasons
    Kyler Murray 3 of 4 seasons
    Baker Mayfield 1 of 5 seasons
    Jared Goff 4 of 7 seasons
    Jameis Winston 1 of 8 seasons (only for 7 games though)
    Andrew Luck 4 of 6 seasons

    Only two of these have less than 50% of their seasons reaching that simple benchmark. One I am very happy no longer plays for the Bucs. JMHO.


  41. TBfan Says:

    Love all the hate…jesus boys…let him play before you start chopping him to pieces. This just in…NO ONE KNOWS HOW THIS PLAYS OUT…get a hobby 🙄

  42. Bucaneeric Says:

    Omg Jamies (a former #1 pick) did a number on the Bucs before the playoffs. This is the reverse. Strong team. Plenty of intangibles and talent. Who knows what can happen? Playoffs for three years straight? I’ll take it.

    Get over it, folks. Go bucs!

  43. Marine Buc Says:

    @ tickrdr

    Nice post. Interesting analysis…

    Of course the Bucs end up with Winston (1 of 8) and Baker (1 of 5).

    It’s a Buc’s life.

  44. tickrdr Says:

    Thank you Marine Buc, not only for your comment, but also for your service!


  45. HC Grover Says:

    It would equal The Miracle Mets of 1969 , The Miracle Bucs of 2023.

  46. Shane Callahan Says:

    Again, anyone hating on Mayfield knows nothing about his career besides numbers. According to these folks, Barry Sanders was awful because of the team he played on. I can’t wait for all you Baker haters to eat crow. If he gets protection and can stay healthy, y’all are gonna be thrilled to death! Boomer Sooner!

  47. Shane Callahan Says:

    Sports Illustrated recently named him the #1 college qb since 2000…

  48. Craig Says:

    With Carr in NO, it is going to take 12 wins to take the NFC South crown.

    Baker came close to that once, and that was with over 2700 yards rushing.

    He has not come close to that again and I don’t see it happening here. The Bucs will start slowly because of the new offensive system, O-line, and adjusting the defense.

    Going commando near the end isn’t going to happen, in part because the bye week is so early. It is going to be at least a year before the Bucs can again challenge the Saints.

  49. Pickgrin Says:

    Have tried to post 3 times over the last 2 hours – and it just disappears into the ether….

    Not 1 thing I wrote would have triggered oderationMay.

    Very annoying.

    What Gives Joseph??

  50. Rand Says:

    Outsiders hating on Baker like Locals hating on Trask

    The report is on Baker but make sure you get your Trask bash in too. ..smh

    Can’t you give the guy a break, at least until he proves you right

  51. Crickett Baker Says:

    Hodad, I am still laughing at that word video you produced. Really interesting article, Joe. You seem to find ways to keep us entertained (usually). I can’t wait for Aug. 11th but I am trying.

  52. Pickgrin Says:

    The condensed version of what I tried to post multiple times earlier is that I only saw Mayfield play 1 game for the Rams last year – The Thur night game where he had only been with the team for 48 hours – started – and looked really competent.

    Baker made plays – ran the offense efficiently – and the Rams won – all with NO prep time – NO practices with teammates.

    That to me was very impressive….. I don’t care about his “bad QBR” the last 2 years playing for bad teams. That 1 game showed Baker is a gamer and well worth the $4M + incentives the Bucs invested to try and give Trask legit competition…..

    No other QB that could have been signed for less than $10M would have given the Bucs as much talent and experience as Baker Mayfield brings to the table.

    And the “moxie” is a bonus – LOL

  53. garro Says:

    Rank? Who?
    Another Maybefield Propaganda post?
    Geez this is getting more than old.

    Go Bucs!

  54. shankasorous Says:

    “people aren’t down about Kyle Trask; they just don’t believe in him”

    Why are the same people who said Jalen Hurts was toast entering his third season repeatedly quoted as “experts” here? That’s one thing about the NFL world. You can bat .000 on quarterback prognostications – see Johnny Manzeil, Jameis Winston – and still hold yourself out as an “expert”. That doesn’t work in the submarine world. Why does it work in the NFL world?

  55. Oneilbuc Says:

    I know what you mean about Kyle Trask against Alabama!! But thank God the south didn’t win the civil war !!!

  56. shankasorous Says:

    Oneilbuc Says: “Thank God the south didn’t win the civil war !!!”

    Very true. And, that was the maddest the Democrats have ever been, when the Republicans took away their slaves.