On Monday morning, Tom Brady and the Buccaneers awoke to find themselves on top of the divisional standings. Familiar ground for Brady, not so much for the Buccaneers.
After the New Orleans Saints fell to the Green Bay Packers Sunday night, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have found themselves in the drivers seat to control their own destiny.
Heading into the season, many pundits had already crowned the Saints as division winners and the team to beat in the south. After suffering a week one loss, that’s the way it appeared to look as well. Fortunately for the Buccaneers, an injury to wide receiver Michael Thomas would help slow down the Saints who would go on to lose their next two games. Coupled with the stout play of the Buccaneers defense and ever growing chemistry of an offense that had little time to come together, the Buccaneers have won both of their games after that week one defeat, putting them in sole possession of first place in the division.
The Buccaneers currently boast a top five defense led by veteran playmakers like Shaq Barrett, Lavonte David and Ndamkong Suh. As well as stand out second year players Devin White, Carlton Davis and rookie Antoine Winfield Jr. The run defense has picked up where it left off from the prior season and the pass defense has improved from finishing near the bottom of the league.
While the defense hasn’t skipped a beat, the offense has shown improvement every week. Currently ranked 25th overall the chemistry has been building. In scoring offense, where it matters most, they are ranked 14th. Including 8/10 in red zone trips tied for fourth best in the league.
The last time the Buccaneers were in first place in the NFC South was in 2007. That season the Buccaneers went 9-7 and won the division. Though this team looks poised to have better results than the one in 2007. The defense looks to be among the best in the league. While the offense is starting to come together and find its groove. Next up for the Buccaneers is a home game against the Los Angeles Chargers. Starting a rookie quarterback with a banged up defense, they will look to build on their division lead. It will be the first home game of the season with fans in attendance and should provide some extra energy for a team starting to gel at the right time.