Despite having less than 40 yards of offense through the first quarter and a half, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers came home 1-0 following a 20-17 victory over the Minnesota Vikings Sunday afternoon.
Baker Mayfield had a brutal start to the game, but was able to grind out some production in the second half following a nice TD drive to end the first. He even made some gritty plays, like a nice stiff arm of Vikings corner Byron Murphy, Jr. and a clutch pickup of a first down on a fourth-and-short inside Buccaneer territory.
Tampa Bay’s running game was meh to say the least, picking up 73 yards on 33 attempts, and there were some tough misses from Baker on some relatively easy throws, but the most important thing the offense did was take care of the football.
The Buccaneers had no turnovers and didn’t put the defense in tough positions against an explosive Minnesota offense that outgained the Bucs by 127 yards.
Despite what that yardage total may say, the defense was absolutely stellar, coming away with two fumble recoveries and a pick off Kirk Cousins, who seems to have temporarily lost the comeback magic that he and the Vikings had last season. Linebacker Devin White was absolutely flying around the field, showing off why he thinks he deserves a pricey contract extension, coming away with 12 total tackles, one of which went for a loss.
Undrafted rookie Christian Izien had an up and down game, with a wonderful pick in the red zone as well as a couple tackles. He also unfortunately had a defensive pass interference call go against him, and was run over by running back Alexander Mattison on the very next play for a Vikings TD.
Still, it all added up to a Buccaneers victory.
Around the division, the Saints narrowly came away with a one-point victory against the Titans at home, and the Falcons took down rookie QB Bryce Young and the Carolina Panthers in Atlanta.
To pickup a road victory in Week 1 is a huge get, and while the Bucs still have a lot of problems that need to be addressed, lest they rear their ugly head, a win is a win, as they say.
So fire those cannons.