The Tampa Bay Buccaneers traveled up to New Orleans as 10-point underdogs. They walked out with an eight-point victory. Here are the winners and losers from the season opener.
That’s all I can say about the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after that Week one performance. The Buccaneers ranked as one of the worst teams in the league going against one of the best. Zero NFL analysts believed that the Bucs could pull off the upset, especially in New Orleans. With low expectations and a plethora of injuries, Tampa Bay began the game with no expectations.
Brent Grimes hurt his groin this week, forcing two rookies to start against future Hall of Famer Drew Brees. Vita Vea isn’t healthy enough yet, and linebackers Riley Bullough, Devante Bond and Kendall Beckwith were unavailable. Defensive tackle Mitch Unrein is also on the injured reserve. Donovan Smith likely wasn’t 100 percent, but he managed to tough it out.
They also were without their starting quarterback Jameis Winston. Winston began his three-week suspension, and he isn’t allowed in the facility until after the Steelers Monday Night Football game. However, there is still some magic in Ryan Fitzpatrick’s right arm.
The Buccaneers put up 48 points for the first time since their Super Bowl win all the way back in 2003. The Buccaneers offense was explosive, their defense was a little shaky but made plays when it counted. Let’s take a look at some of the best players and some players that need improvement to help move the Bucs to 2-0 when the Philadelphia Eagles travel down to Tampa Bay.