More Than Just Another Bucs-Bears Game For Baker Mayfield

September 17th, 2023

Baker Mayfield

Plenty is riding on today’s Tampa Bay-Chicago game, perhaps a lot more than it appears.

Joe is referring to franchise stability (temporarily) and peace of mind for the most important player on the team: quarterback Baker Mayfield. (Hey, it’s always the starting QB.)

Before Joe gets to relevant comments from former Bucs quarterback turned Amazon analyst Ryan Fitzpatrick, Joe will note that if the Bucs win today to jump their record to 2-0, then Mayfield will have discovered at least five more weeks of job security, including Tampa Bay’s Week 5 bye.

That’s just NFL reality. Mayfield and the team will be riding a confidence high and a competitive record that has no chance of being shattered for several weeks.

A loss today, however, would mean Team Glazer and most fans will start thinking the Bucs are a bad team preparing to host the mighty Eagles a week from Monday night, and thoughts will turn a tiny bit toward 2024.

That’s just the nature of fans and owners, Joe believes. Lose to a miserable Bears team at home and what are you? A typical fan or owner’s answer would include the phrase “definitely rebuilding.”

Anyone’s throughts of rebuilding would be toxic for Mayfield. Fitzpatrick said he thinks Mayfield now has the proper mindset for a low-salary quarterback coming to a team in the Bucs’ situation: he’s approaching it like he will be leading the Tampa Bay for the long-term.

“You have to dive into it and embrace it,” Fitzpatrick told USA Today of Mayfield joining the Bucs. “And not think about it as, ‘Hey, I’m here on a one year deal,’ but ‘boy, what an opportunity I have right now. Let’s dive into this community. Let’s dive into this football team and take advantage.’  … You know, I’m definitely a guy that’s rooting for [Mayfield].”

Mayfield has done just that. He talked about joining the Bucs because he wanted to set roots in Tampa with this organization, and he even launched a charitable foundation last month with his wife.

He arrived in Tampa confident and the Week 1 road win won him over the locker room and was a huge shot of confidence.

A win today cements Mayfield as “the guy” for a while — long enough to settle in and let the 2023 team forge an identity.

A loss today? Well, Joe doesn’t want to think of what might come next.

43 Responses to “More Than Just Another Bucs-Bears Game For Baker Mayfield”

  1. Dewey Selmon Says:

    I feel the Eagles have a huge advantage from playing 3 days ago and already preparing for next Monday night while the Bucs haven’t even played this weeks game yet.

  2. A Bucs Fan Says:

    The x-factor for today is that the Bears head coach will be running the defense with D-Coordinator out. If he can’t re-invigorate the defense then the Bucs win period.

  3. Fred McNeil Says:

    A loss today would be a sigh that our ceiling is at best mediocrity. Technically, it would not the end the season, but ooooh what a bad portend when we could least afford such bad juju. Especially with Phillie coming up.

    Unfortunately the Bears fans are already biting their fingernails and the Chicago team knows it. According to the super genius football guessers, we stunk this year and this is Chicago’s last chance to avoid a lost season on fan’s eyes. They’re gonna come out fighting.

    Do you have your troops ready, Coach Bowles?

  4. Charles Says:

    Baker needs to do better than his dink-and-dunk 5.1 yards per pass attempt against the weak Vikings secondary. That stat puts him at 26th of 32 quarterbacks after week 1.

  5. Fred McNeil Says:

    I hear ya about the extra mini-bye Phillie enjoys this week. We do have one extra day.

  6. PSL Bob Says:

    If the defense played like it did last week, the Bucs will roll. Doubt seriously that Evans will drop any catchable balls today. The o-line is gelling and the rookies are settling in. The arrow’s point up. Hope I’m not setting myself up for disappointment.

  7. Statistically Insignificant Reader Says:

    Only stat that matters is a W. Short game, long game, ugly or pretty. Just get the W.

  8. EternalSon Says:

    Bucs win!!

    Bucs win!!

    Bucs win!!

  9. Capt2fish Says:

    Charles- sounds like Canales is pretty happy with the way baker is running his offense. He is 1-0 as a starter. That stat has him tied for 1st in the league

  10. Cobraboy Says:

    I did not know what to expect in Mayfield. Dumb-a$$ diva? Rotten, underachiever? Misunderstood talent in bad situations?

    So far the needle is pointing up, and I like his “moxie” even if I despise that word.

    What a blessing it could be if the marriage between Canales & Mayfield is one for the ages!

    At this point all we can do is take a hit of hopium before every play…and let the situation all work out, for better or worse.

  11. A Bucs Fan Says:

    @Charles if Mike catches the ball Baker could have had a 250 yard day with potentially 4 TD’s….definitely 3.

  12. HC Grover Says:

    The blunder factor will determine the winner. We hope the Bears blunders take them down.

  13. DungyDance Says:

    Need to set the tone early. Cannot be running the Leftwich special right out of the gate, but deep bombs probably not the way to go either. And need to adjust expectations since we had a unique advantage last week (Mayfield snuffed out their defensive signals) that is unlikely to repeat today. Later in the game we need to use heat and humidity to our advantage – fast, up tempo offense, don’t give their defense time for substitutions.


  14. Scotty in Fat Antonio Says:

    How many points are we going to spot them today?

  15. BucU Says:

    This is the perfect trap game. We must play disciplined and locked in with the intensity of last week. Very important game for many reasons. I’m hoping they don’t take this game lightly.

  16. Beej Says:

    You take what the D gives you. They start putting 8 in the box Evans/Godwin gonna be in 1 on 1

  17. Jack Clark Says:

    2-0 Let’s go!

  18. HC Grover Says:

    It would be nice to get a solid win today and then sink the Beagles next week to set up the NOLA Stanks must win game.

  19. HC Grover Says:

    No turnovers and we win.

  20. Craig Says:

    The Bucs are still flying under the big L flag the NFL world cast on us. That can make it more of a trap came for Chicago.

    I think the Bucs can take advantage of that if Baker starts big and sets the tone.

    I agree that this is the first possible turning point for Baker. Every week except the Eagles game will be that. If he beats the Eagles it will be bonus points and then two losses in a row could be his doom.

    I hope he can do it, but he is going to be an expensive question mark if he gets the Bucs anywhere.

  21. Jeff’s grandpa Says:

    The W is all that matters

  22. kgh4life Says:

    I have a feeling this game is gonna be close.

  23. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Bubble Burst? Maybe.

    Bad teams play reckless. The Bears only chance of winning is to come after Mayfield and the center with everything they’ve got. Cause Center to QB exchange fumbles. Force Mayfield to make mistakes.

    I’m guessing that will be their gameplan.

    Because our run game is NOT currently a threat.

    Watch for tipped passes…we got lucky that they were not picked off last week. Let’s hope the luck holds.

  24. Fred McNeil Says:

    Joe and Fitz are right. A loss today doesn’t end our season, but it casts a pall over it.

  25. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Injury is the biggest concern.

  26. No Mercy Says:

    Losing this game would be the worst thing in the history of the planet

  27. D Cone Says:

    Eberflus helped Reich turn the Colts from a 4-12 to 10-6 by transforming the defense from 30th to 10th in one season.
    Should his changes finally start taking hold this week it could be a tougher day than many think it will be.
    Colts were 7th in turnover differential at +2 in 2018 under Eberflus. Browns were +9 and 4th that year with Baker.
    2019 Browns were -8 and QB threw just as many picks and touchdowns.

    If Bowles has not been preaching ball protection based on his experience this week the QB should be preaching it on his.

    Bucs -3 at Home is a Pick Up. Should be a good game to say the least.

  28. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    FOX just hinted at behind the scenes drama for the Bears coming up. Wonder what that is.

  29. Danny Husak Says:

    Watched the Bake Show all 2018, ’19, ’20 ’21. THIS is just the kind of game he got 3 or 4 TDs, 350-400 yards passing and a little of the respect he deserved. I wouldn’t worry any. NEXT WEEK’s game IS THE trap. But not for the Bucs !!!!!!! Danny Baker Buc Esq,

  30. Dan Says:

    Reality sets in today with you Joe Bucs fans nut huggers, lol…. Bears 34 Bucs 13

  31. HC Grover Says:

    Hope the 2nd half last week carries over.

  32. Rod Munch Says:

    Buccaneer Bonzai Says:
    September 17th, 2023 at 12:09 pm
    FOX just hinted at behind the scenes drama for the Bears coming up. Wonder what that is.


    From listening to various Bears podcasts all week, I could be a bunch of things.

    But apparently their defensive coordinator took a personal leave, I’d guess it’s related to that. Probably not a good thing for the Bucs since it sounds like he was instant on playing a straight Tampa 2 with almost no blitzing, but with a front four that wasn’t getting any pressure. So that could be it.

    Also, kind of shockingly to me, from the outside, they made D’Onta Foreman a healthy scratch. The guy was pretty good in Carolina, seems odd to flat out scratch him from the lineup, but they do have a new rookie RB they’re extremely high on.

    Other drama is Chase Claypool. All the Bears fans are going nuts because they say he didn’t show effort on a screen play, and I’d say a majority of them are demanding he’s inactive, if not cut. They just gave up their 2nd rounder for him this year (so the 1st pick in the 2nd round), and the fans are angry he’s ‘lazy’.

    Then, finally, there’s some drama between Fields and the OC, I believe, because some reporter asked the OC about Fields missing plays, and the OC said he needs to not miss those plays. Real edgy stuff there for sure. The dullards try to make this a big deal, but it didn’t seem to take.

  33. DungyDance Says:

    Hey Dan – I-95 runs both ways.

  34. The Beer Whisperer Says:

    I wouldn’t over-think it. All the Bucs have to do, is score more points than the Bears.

    Bucs defense should hold the Bears scoring down. That’s half the battle won already.

    What could possibly go wrong?

  35. Rod Munch Says:

    Mayfield did in fact have a nice game last week, but his issue has always been consistency. So hopefully he can build on last week without flaking out.

    Also I hope Canales keeps me guessing and I don’t start seeing trends already in his play calling. It was so refreshing to watch a game and not know what the play was on offense before the snap. Hopefully he keeps that up.

  36. BakerTillIDie Says:

    Okay. I do not post much here, but read all. Defense, is top 5 so far. Offense is top 20. IF last week, dropped passes caught, Baker has 300+ yards passing. Traskers, baker vs trask WAS no comp, via talent. Meaning baker is loads more talented. and munch, you are just egging people to hope for your chance at writing. lol. ANGRY RUNS, solved the qb debate forever.

  37. BakerTillIDie Says:

    Also, “rod munch” is that a play on words for “di suer” ? not sure the rules, but you all get it it

  38. HC Grover Says:

    Gron thinks Plan 1 is a bust. If Plan 1 can run better and Plan 9 fires his retro rockets the Bucs will win,

  39. HC Grover Says:

    Falcons and Panthers will prolly lose. We gotta win to keep up with The Stanks.

  40. 757Buc’em Says:

    😂😂😂😂😂 very true tho .

  41. stpetebucfan Says:

    So Rob Gronskowski on Fox pregame with good news and bad news.

    Good news…Baker is back according to Gronk

    Bad news…He’s not going to go very far if the Bucs can’t find a run game.

    Today’s the day. I took my usual 5 mile walk at 9:00AM today and it’s freaking hot and HUMID!!! Could be a great day to discover the run game and choke the Bears out the old fashioned way. Ground and pound and wear them out for the second half.

  42. Jack Clark Says:

    Todd Bowels has a better record this year without Tom Brady than Bill Belichick 😆

  43. garro Says:

    Just a lot of talk as it turns out.

    Go Bucs!