The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have a decision to make at quarterback heading into Sunday's visit to the Chicago Bears. Ryan Fitzpatrick has been outstanding through the first three games for the Buccaneers, but Jameis Winston -- who started 45 games through his first three seasons -- is back from a suspension and ready to contribute.
"I'm here to assist the best way I possibly can," Winston said in his return press conference this week. "My passion for this team, my love for this team goes beyond whether I'm out there throwing the football for this team or not." Fitzpatrick has thrown for over 400 yards in each of the first three games while compiling 11 touchdowns passes and another on the ground, although he did throw three of his four interceptions in Monday's 30-27 loss to Pittsburgh. The Bears have rebounded from a painful season-opening loss at Green Bay with consecutive wins over Seattle and Arizona. Led by linebacker Khalil Mack -- who has four sacks, an interception and three forced fumbles -- Chicago enters Week 4 tied for second in the NFL with eight takeaways.
TV: 1 p.m. ET, FOX. LINE: Bears -3. O/U: 46.5
ABOUT THE BUCCANEERS (2-1): The Fitzpatrick-Winston situation will garner most of the headlines, but it stands to reason that the coaching staff is more concerned with improving a defense that ranks 31st in yards allowed and 29th in scoring, giving up an average of 30.3 points. Safety Chris Conte (knee), who had seven tackles in each of the first two games, was placed on injured reserve this week, a blow for a secondary that has one interception thus far. Mike Evans has been Fitzpatrick's top target with 23 catches for 367 yards, while Peyton Barber leads the way on the ground but is averaging just 2.9 yards in 43 carries.
ABOUT THE BEARS (2-1): Mitch Trubisky is averaging under 200 yards passing and has just two touchdowns against three picks early on, but a matchup with the porous Bucs might help the second-year pro break out. "We just need to continue to get better -- execute, believe in the plan," Trubisky told reporters. "And continue to have those conversations about what plays we really feel comfortable about and what plays we like. Me and coach (Matt) Nagy will go back and forth. And they're going to dial up a great gameplan." Jordan Howard has struggled to get the ground game going and has only 96 yards on 38 carries over the last two games.
1. Winston threw for 204 yards and a touchdown and Tampa Bay forced four turnovers in a 29-7 win over Chicago at home last year.
2. The Buccaneers have 1,202 net passing yards, compared to 534 for the Bears.
3. Tampa Bay DE Jason Pierre-Paul has three of his team's seven sacks.
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