Week One (9/8): home vs. San Francisco 49ers
Starting the season at home is a big boost in confidence, and the Buccaneers drew a matchup that looks to be a close game. Kwon Alexander returns to Tampa Bay, but is unlikely to play; Jimmy Garoppolo is going to play though and looks to make his return to the field a memorable one. The Buccaneers look to start their season well under new head coach Bruce Arians, while the Niners finally look to take off under Kyle Shanahan in his third season.
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This game has all of the makings of a high scoring affair in which the quarterbacks go back and forth at each other. Even though the 49ers added talent to their defense in the form of Alexander and Dee Ford, their secondary is still a massive black hole that O.J. Howard, Mike Evans, and Chris Godwin will be able to exploit. However, the Buccaneers secondary is also the weakest group on the roster.
At the end of the day, Garoppolo will more than likely be given more time to throw than Jameis Winston will, and that could be the difference in this game. As it looks to be a shootout, the Niners pull out a close one in the first week of the season.