It was the night before Christmas, when the entire home venue was buzzing with excitement.
No fans were unhappy, as the duo of Baker Mayfield and Mike Evans was the top dish on the menu.
Or something like that.
After the Bucs’ win over the Jaguars on Sunday at Raymond James Stadium, much of the late-season resurgence can be attributed to the play of the team’s starting quarterback, who is starting to look different. People who make a difference. Over the past two weeks, Baker Mayfield has completed 48 of 63 passes (76.2%) for 664 yards and six touchdowns with no interceptions.
At this point in the season, teams rise and fall out of the playoff picture based on their quarterback’s play, but with Tampa Bay likely releasing some of its cast, it’s likely they’ll sail into the playoffs. Mayfield is on board with the situation. expedition.
Todd Bowles shares his thoughts on QB Baker Mayfield’s recent play.
Following the team 30-12 victory At home, Bucs head coach Todd Bowles shared his thoughts on how Baker Mayfield took his game to a new level in wins over the Packers and Jaguars.
“He was outstanding,” Bowles said. “He was outstanding in December.” – That’s what you want from your quarterback in December. Everybody knows each other’s plays right now, but when you’re trying to push and your quarterback is playing great, you get a chance. ”
It started last week when Baker Mayfield threw for 381 yards and four touchdowns in a 34-20 win at Lambeau Field, earning NFC Offensive Player of the Week honors for his performance. But even though it was a highlight reel game, he has been winning all month. The last four games have been a tale of two Mayfields, as it was his gritty play that led Tampa Bay to wins over the Panthers and Falcons.
He didn’t have his best game, completing 50% of his passes in neither contest, but he did enough to lead his team to a narrow victory.
“We’re trying to find a way to win by any means necessary,” Mayfield said after Sunday’s game. “Anyone can help us. We have a lot of players that we trust and rely on. And no matter how it plays out, it’s good for us. So anyone can help us. But we know anyone can step up for us.”
Now, the Bucs are starting to become more divided within the NFC South, starting with their veteran quarterback. On Sunday against the Jaguars, Baker Mayfield was effective again, completing 26 of 35 passes for 283 yards and two touchdowns to Mike Evans. He looks comfortable in the pocket and the entire offense appears to be reaching the vision that offensive coordinator Dave Canales had before the season.
Baker Mayfield is starting to break down
Baker Mayfield, who is starting to show mastery of Dave Canales’ offense while also connecting with Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, has no problem directing the Bucks’ offense and scoring points like a point guard. One of the things that has impressed me about the level of offensive performance this season is the consistency.
Last year had a tough road to the playoffs as almost every win came in struggles. Canales is starting to click the right buttons this year. The offense has scored 20 points or more in seven of the last eight games, and the team is 5-3 in that span.
“We’re on the same page,” Mayfield said. “I think we’ve improved that much.” It’s hard to argue with that assessment, considering everyone’s play on the offensive end is starting to improve. A lot of that comes down to trust with his wide receivers. “Of course, that’s because each gamer in this new system is learning about each other.” – Learning and understanding body language on and off routes,” Mayfield added.
He’s not alone in trusting the process. Although Dave Canales reiterated that results won’t be immediate, the fruits of his plan are beginning to bloom. It’s starting to feel like “It’s a Wonderful Bucs Life.”
The Bucks’ offense is led by Dave Canales and his passionate “little guy.”
Left tackle Tristan Wirfs spoke after the game about what he thought of the first-year play-caller. After some struggles early in the season, Canales stuck to his guns and it’s paid off in a big way in the second half.
“I love Coach Canales,” Wirfs said. “I think we kind of showed that. – As we’ve said for weeks, we’re focused on the run game and doing our best to fix that.
“We didn’t do well for a while, but we persevered and we were able to come back in kind of a comeback. We just have to keep at it and do what works. I told Coach Canales I have complete confidence in him and I love him to death.”
It took determination and resilience to change the narrative for this team. While some may not have jumped on the Baker Mayfield bandwagon when the Bucs were struggling, the Wharfs have fully supported their quarterback from the beginning.
“I was involved from day one,” Wirfs added. “The first time I met him was in the weight room, and he just said, ‘What’s wrong?'” To me, he said, “I am.” like this man. ‘I don’t know, he’s just fun to be around and fun to compete with. It’s fun to play. He’s an incredible person and an incredible player.I don’t know, I was there. – It didn’t take long because I jumped on the bandwagon right away. ”
They responded while Baker Mayfield and the rest of the team played with their backs to the wall. Led by a gritty quarterback, those traits resonate with the rest of the roster.
Wirfs agrees. “Just fight. I think that’s a good identity for us. Of course, even with six [Baker Mayfield] He’s a little guy over there, but he’s passionate. ”