Baker Mayfield seals first Bucs win of the season with two cold-blooded clutch plays (Video)

Right out of the gate, Baker Mayfield is proving the haters wrong.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Minnesota Vikings
Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Minnesota Vikings / David Berding/GettyImages

It took a little bit for Baker Mayfield to settle in, but once he did he looked every bit like the guy the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were hoping they'd get.

Baker started the game just as rough as all the offseason doubters expected he might. He was a brutal 3-for-11 with just 12 yards passing until his final drive of the first half. It was that last drive of the second quarter that saw Baker begin to unlock the potential Jason Licht and the front office saw in him, and it was all roses from there.

On that drive, with under a few minutes left, Baker bounced back to go 3-for-4 with a huge 28-yard touchdown pass to Mike Evans. The score tied the game and started to swing the momentum back in the Buccaneers direction.

It also helped Baker shake of whatever rust he clearly had and kickstarted an impressive second half performance that led to an upset win. Tampa Bay's defense balled out, but Baker displayed serious guts on what ended up being the final drive of the game -- and a game-winning drive for the Bucs.

Baker Mayfield seals first Bucs win of the season with two cold-blooded clutch plays

After the Bucs defense forced a crucial three-and-out, Baker and hte offense took over with the sole objective of closing the game out. There was just under four minutes left, and any mistake made would open up a potential path for the Vikings to get back a game the Bucs were only leading by three points.

That's when Baker strapped the team on his back and carried them to a win. On a third-and-two, Baker scrambled for a first down in which he knew he was going to get pasted but went for it anyway.

It was close, but the guts Baker showed resulted in a first down that extended the drive and allowed the Bucs to continue controlling the clock.

It's hard to express how impressive that play is. Earlier in the game Baker was in a similar situation and opted to run out of bounds rather than fight for a first down. At the time it felt like a weak business decision, but the long game was being played by Baker and the payoff was this first down scramble.

After the Bucs extended the drive, they faced another third down that if converted would ice the game. Once again Baker stepped up and fired a pass to Chris Godwin that was on the money and a sight to behold.

There were signs of Baker starting to rev up his engine earlier in the game. As the second half started he threw a nasty stiff arm on Bryon Murphy, which in hindsight turned out to be a pivitol turning point in terms of the Bucs attitude on offense.

When the Bucs signed Baker back in March, the move was trolled by every Twitter comedian with the same joke. It was a narrative that didn't go away in training camp and followed the Bucs right up to kickoff on Sunday.

It's one that died a pretty hilarious death a few hours later.

There's still a chance the Bucs fall off after this impressive start, but this team looks nothing like the losers they were painted as all offseason long. There's zero intent to tank in Tampa Bay, and the chip-on-his-shoulder atttiude that Baker has is rubbing off on the rest of the team.

Sunday was as gritty a win the Bucs have had in a while, and it's a beautiful way to start the season.

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