Posted on June 23, 2018, by Travis Pulver
Training camp for the 2018 NFL season is still weeks away. But things are already starting to look a little bleak or fans of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. While nothing has been made official yet, it appears that there is a very good chance that they will be without the services of quarterback Jameis Winston for at least the first three games.
Winston’s only hope lied in how much weight the league was going to give the word of Ronald Darby over the Uber driver. But it now appears that Darby was not being honest. He wasn’t in the car the entire time, so there is no way he can say with any certainty that Winston didn’t do anything wrong.
It gets worse.
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According to the attorney for the third person in the car, former Vanderbilt football player Brandon Banks (who has since been convicted of rape), a ride was requested through Uber because Winston had become drunk and unruly at a nightclub.
Forget three games; it sounds like Winston could be getting more than that. That means Buccaneers fans better get ready to see a whole lot of Ryan Fitzpatrick this season. To be fair, he is a capable guy who has played great on occasion. It’s not like they are going to be stuck with a scrub as their starting quarterback.
But the Buccaneers have the unfortunate luck of opening the 2018 season with the toughest slate of the Super Bowl Era– the Saints, Eagles, and Steelers (who had a combined win percentage in 2017 of 77.8 percent).
All three teams are expected to be just as good this season as they were last. Even with Winston behind center, the Buccaneers would be hard-pressed to beat them. As it turns out, Fitzpatrick hasn’t exactly had much luck again those three teams during his career. He’s never played the Saints and hasn’t beaten the Steelers (0-5). But he did come away with a win against the Eagles just once (1-3-1).
Fitzpatrick played very efficiently in his three starts last season for the Buccaneers (winning two of them). But beating the Saints, Steelers, or Eagles will not be as easy as beating the Dolphins or Jets. So, there is a good chance that the Buccaneers are going to start the 2018 season with a 0-3 record.
No team has ever gone 0-3 to start the season and won a Super Bowl. However, there have been five that have made the playoffs. But no one has done it since the divisions realigned to their current format in 2002:
- 1998 Buffalo Bills
- 1995 Detroit Lions
- 1992 San Diego Chargers
- 1982 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- 1981 New York Jets
It is worth noting, that there wasn’t much expected of the Buccaneers heading into the 2018 season already. Betway.com has had their odds to win the Super Bowl at 80/1 since March 2, fourth worst in the NFL.
Once Winston’s suspension becomes official, those odds will probably get even longer.