The biggest surprise of the first two weeks of the NFL season is the scorching-hot offense of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, which has led them to back-to-back victories over the New Orleans Saints and the defending champion Philadelphia Eagles. That offense has been piloted by journeyman quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, who is absolutely tearing up defenses through the air.
Through two games, Fitzpatrick is 48 of 61 for a league-high 819 yards, with eight touchdowns and just one interception. He's thrown for at least 400 yards and four touchdowns in both of Tampa's games.
And it's because Fitzpatrick is playing so well that wide receiver DeSean Jackson -- the recipient of three of those eight touchdown passes -- says you simply cannot remove Fitzpatrick from the lineup, even when presumed starter and former No. 1 overall pick Jameis Winston returns from his three-game suspension for violating the NFL's personal conduct policy. (Winston allegedly groped an Uber driver.)
"He's playing on fire right now," Jackson said on NFL Network, per a transcription by Pro Football Talk's Michael David Smith. "With the way the team is rallying behind him and just playing lights-out football, you have to kind of honor it. You can't take the hot man out. You got the hot fire right now. It's like NBA Jam. We used to play NBA Jam — whoever got that hot fire shot, you got to keep shooting, man.
"It's not my decision but I'm sure Dirk and coach (offensive coordinator Todd) Monken and the guys that make those calls, they'll make sure they stay on fire until that fire is out. We're going to stay on fire. That's our job, to stay on fire and that's what we're going to do."
Fitzpatrick is so hot right now that he's even willing to steal Jackson's clothes and chains and show up to his postgame pressers looking like Conor McGregor.
It had been rumored even before Fitzpatrick's hot start that the Bucs might not give Winston the job back when he returned from suspension given his up-and-down play and history of off-field troubles including the groping allegation and several incidents while he at Florida State, including an alleged sexual assault. With Fitzpatrick starting off the season so well and the Bucs jumping out to a 2-0 start, it seems even more likely that Winston will remain on the bench when he returns.