Wednesday, September 19, 2018
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Ryan Fitzpatrick magic lifts Bucs to stunning win over Saints

NEW ORLEANS — No Jameis Winston. No problem.

Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick stood in for the suspended quarterback and stood out, passing for 417 yards and four touchdowns while running for another score in the Bucs 48-40 win over the Saints Sunday.

Fitzpatrick did something Winston struggled doing a year ago. He connected on passes of 58- and 36 yards to DeSean Jackson for TDs and 50 yards to Mike Evans for another score.

Jackson was injured after catching a pass in the fourth quarter and had to he helped off the field.  He finished with five catches for 146 yards and two TDs.

The Bucs scored on their first five possessions and added a defensive touchdown in the first half.

Cornerback Vernon Hargreaves forced a fumble by Saints running back Mike Gillislee and safety Justin Evans scooped it up and raced 34 yards for a touchdown to give the Bucs a 31-17 lead.

The Bucs didn't need punter Bryan Anger until 7:42 remaining in the third quarter.

It was a shocking start to the season for the Bucs, who have to rely on their 14th year veteran for at least three games until Winston returns.

Turns out, they may not have to rush him back.

Fitzpatrick showed he still has some Fitzmagic left.  The Saints pulled to within 48-40 but were out of timeouts when Fitzpatrick ran for a first down on third-and-11 right before the two-minute warning.

The Saints took the opening kickoff and drove it for a touchdown with running back Alvin Kamara scoring on a 5-yard run.

But Fitzpatrick showed immediately that the Saints were in for a fight. With Jackson lining up in the slot, the Saints somehow lost coverage on him and Fitzpatrick lofted a perfect 58-yard bomb to Jackson, who only had three touchdowns last season.

The Bucs defense did not do much to slow Brees. They sacked him once, but they forced two fumbles.

But the story was Fitzpatrick, who went 2-1  as a starter last season when Winston injured his shoulder.

All he did was produce the best opening day performance by a Bucs quarterback since Steve DeBerg passed for five touchdowns over the Falcons on opening day in 1987.

Contact Rick Stroud at [email protected] Follow @NFLStroud

Comments
Bucs’ Jameis Winston sued by Arizona Uber driver in alleged groping incident

Bucs’ Jameis Winston sued by Arizona Uber driver in alleged groping incident

TAMPA — Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston was sued Tuesday by the Arizona Uber driver who has accused him of sexual assault by groping her in March 2016.The woman — identified only as Kate P. in the federal court papers — is seeking m...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Bucs announce social justice initiative

Bucs announce social justice initiative

TAMPA — Bucs receiver DeSean Jackson stepped out of his cleats and walked in the shoes of a Tampa police officer during a simulation training session Tuesday that was eye-opening."I was a police officer doing a regular (traffic) stop and I got ...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Lightning’s Alex Killion on his FitzMagic look: ‘None of us’ has his flair

Lightning’s Alex Killion on his FitzMagic look: ‘None of us’ has his flair

TAMPA — How big is FitzMagic? It has hit the Lightning, too.Proving that Harvard guys stick together, Lightning forward Alex Killorn showed support for fellow Harvard grad Ryan Fitzpatrick by, sort of, dressing up the way Fitzpatrick did follow...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Dolphins’ Minkah Fitzpatrick files trademark application for ‘FitzMagic’

Dolphins’ Minkah Fitzpatrick files trademark application for ‘FitzMagic’

Enjoy "FitzMagic" while you can.Not because Ryan Fitzpatrick's days as the Bucs starting quarterback might be numbered once Jameis Winston returns from his three-game suspension.Rather, because Dolphins defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick might soon ha...
Updated: 12 hours ago
Say hello to Major Ryan Fitzpatrick, Bucs QB and Civil War pen pal

Say hello to Major Ryan Fitzpatrick, Bucs QB and Civil War pen pal

You’ve probably heard about the #FitzMagic phenomenon by now, but are you following Major Ryan Fitzpatrick’s dispatches from the front lines of the NFL circa 1862?Months before the Tampa Bay Buccaneers backup-turned-temporary (but also ma...
Published: 09/18/18
What do the Lightning’s Alex Killorn and Jimmy Fallon have in common?

What do the Lightning’s Alex Killorn and Jimmy Fallon have in common?

What do Lightning forward Alex Killorn and late-night talk show host Jimmy Fallon have in common?Both have become smitten with FitzMagic.Killorn wore black sunglasses, a No. 14 jersey and a chain around his neck today while addressing the media in ho...
Published: 09/18/18
Derrick Brooks among Hall of Famers threatening to boycott induction ceremonies

Derrick Brooks among Hall of Famers threatening to boycott induction ceremonies

Former Bucs linebacker Derrick Brooks is among several Pro Football Hall of Famers who signed a letter today saying they would not attend the Hall's annual induction ceremony until they receive health insurance and an annual salary that includes...
Published: 09/18/18
Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: What happens when Jameis Winston returns?

Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: What happens when Jameis Winston returns?

Who should start at quarterback for the Bucs in Week 4, when Jameis Winston returns from his three-game suspension?Head coach Dirk Koetter won't talk about it, while DeSean Jackson says, "you can't take the hot man out." But what might most impact th...
Published: 09/18/18
Bucs journal: Better QB protection result of training camp battles

Bucs journal: Better QB protection result of training camp battles

TAMPA— Bucs quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick is off to an incredibly hot start, and a big reason for it is the protection he is getting from the offensive line.Fitzpatrick has only been sacked twice in 61 pass attempts. According to coach Dirk Koet...
Published: 09/17/18
While others debate Winston or Fitzpatrick, the Bucs will answer this question

While others debate Winston or Fitzpatrick, the Bucs will answer this question

TAMPA — If there is a quarterback dilemma for the Bucs, it is this: When do they make the switch to Jameis Winston?Sure, Ryan Fitzpatrick is playing the best football of his life. He's 2-0 with consecutive games of at least 400 yards passing an...
Published: 09/17/18