The Tampa Bay Buccaneers were supposed to be one of the worst teams in the NFL in 2018, especially with starting quarterback Jameis Winston receiving a three-game suspension for an alleged groping incident.
But just as everybody predicted, career journeyman Ryan Fitzpatrick has paced the Bucs to a 2-0 start, completely dominating the New Orleans Saints on the road (a 48-40 victory), before taking down the defending Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles in Week 2.
Fitzpatrick has posted consecutive 400-yard games, and he's up to eight touchdown passes against just one interception. Putting up those numbers against two of the NFC's top teams? Simply amazing.
After the game, Fitzpatrick warned his Buccaneers teammates to stay humble, all while working an awesome suit, sunglasses and gold chain - which had some even compare him 'Fitz' to Conor McGregor.
Per ESPN's Jenna Laine:
So things are getting WEIRD in Tampa right now. "It's nothing, man," Ryan Fitzpatrick said of this ensemble. "We've just gotta make sure we stay humble." https://t.co/UU09baUlnM pic.twitter.com/4h8qzXOWRc— JennaLaineESPN (@JennaLaineESPN) September 16, 2018
Despite the early doses of Fitz Magic, it's far too early to start getting excited about the hot start. They do share a division with three teams that made the playoffs in 2017, and there's no way Fitzpatrick's going to be tossing 400 yards and four touchdowns every week, of course.
The Buccaneers will be tested at home next Monday when they host the Pittsburgh Steelers, who will certainly come out firing after an ugly 0-1-1 start. Fitzpatrick will have quite the task in keeping pace with Ben Roethlisberger and co.
After that, a road game vs. Khalil Mack and the Chicago Bears awaits. Judging by their Week 1 performance against the Green Bay Packers, Chicago doesn't plan to be another pushover in 2018.
Following their bye week, the Buccaneers will then visit the NFC South rival Atlanta Falcons, another potential Super Bowl contender. So even though Fitzpatrick has enjoyed field days against two top NFC teams, the schedule will keep him and the Bucs battle-tested.
But for now, Fitzpatrick and the Bucs have the right to enjoy the early season success. Nobody saw this coming, and the long-suffering fans in Tampa have something to cheer about following a dismal 2017 season.