The word “optimistic” has been used to describe the Tampa Bay Buccaneers offense the past two seasons. Unfortunately, for the Buccaneers faithful, we have been let down by special teams and questionable decision-making on the part of Jameis Winston late in games. In 2018, the Buccaneers opened up with the New Orleans Saints. All the cards were stacked against them in week 1. As Head Coach Dirk Koetter stated, “we were probably the biggest upset in the NFL this week.”
What made the Buccaneers different in Week 1? Ryan Fitzpatrick turned back the clock and turned in a performance for the ages. He was shredding the New Orleans secondary. Fitzpatrick struck early on an absolute bomb to DeSean Jackson. The aerial attack was what we’ve been hoping to see for the past couple seasons. Fitzpatrick ended the night 21-28 for 417 yards and 4 touchdowns. Wide Receivers Mike Evans and DeSean Jackson both finished with over 145 receiving yards. Jameis Winston better look out because if this keeps up, he will be riding the bench for the 2018-2019 season.
The defense, well it made plays when it had to I guess is the only thing I can say. New Orleans is a high scoring offensive juggernaut, but the Buccaneers couldn’t hold them under 40 points. Mike Smith is already under scrutiny for his lack of defensive stops and this didn’t do anything to help the cause. We have lost Vernon Hargreaves for the season and newly acquired Jason Pierre-Paul is questionable for week 2, so I guess it is back to the drawing board for Mike Smith. Hopefully we can hold teams to a more respectable number in the upcoming weeks.
The kicking game was fantastic. YES! You heard correct the Tampa Bay Buccaneers actually found a kicker that is reliable. Chandler Catanzaro went 2 for 3 on his attempts and connected on all six extra point attempts. This is a huge for the Buccaneers moving forward in the season. Catanzaro has to be efficient for the Buccaneers to get to the playoffs and beyond.
The Buccaneers played well in Week 1, but they have a lot to do if they want to take down the favorites in the Carolina Panthers, New Orleans Saints, and Atlanta Falcons. The division is loaded and the Buccaneers defense has to become more efficient in stopping the pass. The only way to help the secondary is for the defensive line to get more pressure on the quarterback. We will see what the upcoming weeks bring for our beloved Buccaneers. In week 2 we see the defending Superbowl Champion Philadelphia Eagles and Nick Foles.