1. How has the Baker Mayfield experience been? Will the Bucs entertain signing him long-term?
The Mayfield experience has certainly had its ups and downs which I think was to be expected heading into this season. Consistency has always been something that Mayfield has struggled with so I figured Tampa would probably experience it’s fair share of it in 2023. That being said though, Mayfield has definitely been more good than bad and even last week played well enough to give the Bucs a chance to win.
Unfortunately for him though, the more losses that pile up, the more likely it is that he will either be replaced by Kyle Trask just so the team can get a look at him or Mayfield won’t be brought back next season. Bucs need to string some wins together in the worst way.
2. Is Todd Bowles on the hot seat? Should he be?
Yes Todd Bowles is certainly on the hot seat and yes he should be. His seat was probably lukewarm heading into Sunday’s game against Houston but after his defense got shredded by a rookie QB, I definitely think that seat is hot. He likely won’t be fired mid season as the Bucs owners have never fired a head coach mid season but Bowles has to finish out the season strong in order to keep his job which right now looks easier said than done.
3. CJ Stroud torched the Bucs defense last week. What is the biggest issue with the pass defense? Can they fix it?
Honestly it’s gonna sound basic but they just have to play better. Carlton Davis is a really talented football player, but he may have had the worst game of his career last Sunday. Ryan Neal has struggled mightily and the Bucs could look to replace him in the lineup but the fact is that it’s on the Bucs players who have been good in the past to finally show up and play better for this team.
4. Give us a player we have never heard of that will have an impact on this game.
Safety Dee Delaney could be a player to keep an eye on this one. As I mentioned in the previous question, the Bucs could look to replace Ryan Neal at safety and Delaney would be the guy likely filling in. So far this season in limited work Delaney has two interceptions and knows Bowles’ system well. If he gets in the game I could see him making a splash play or two that turns the game.
5. The Titans are a 1-point underdog and the total sits at 38.5 over at DraftKings. What is your favorite bet here?
Being completely honest here I have to go with the Titans and the point. I think these teams are pretty evenly matched but I just can’t bring myself to pick the Bucs to win anything right now until they go out and actually do it. Losing to the Texans last week would have been demoralizing enough but to lose in the fashion that they did? I’m not sure there is any coming back from that and I think the team’s play the rest of the season may reflect that. I think the defense certainly plays better this week, but I just can’t pick the Bucs right now until they prove to me that they can win these types of games.
You can head over to Bucs Nation to see Evan’s questions and my answers.