Things got off to a rough start for Baker Mayfield in his first start with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. While there was a ton of hype around him from fans who watched him do pretty decent in the preseason, Mayfield started the year looking every bit like the guy pundits were trolling all offseason long.
Baker started the game 3-for-11 with only 12 yards, including some mind-boggling decisions like refusing to run for a first down from just a few yards out. What made his sluggish start even more frustrating was how hot the Bus defense was out of the gate.
Two turnovers were forced by the Bucs defense, but it resulted in just three points. That's the sort of inefficiency on offense is what Tampa Bay experienced last year and was supposed to be moving away from. To see it so early in this new era was about as demoralizing as it gets, and seemed to start sucking the wind out of the Bucs sails.
Give him enough time, though, and Baker will eventually bake.
Baker Mayfield hits Mike Evans first first TD with Buccaneers
That's what happened in the two-minute drill when Baker hit his first touchdown of the season by connecting with Mike Evans for a 28-yard score.
This is notable for a few reasons, but the headline is Baker Mayfield finally findinf a rythym. Despite his awful start, Mayfield went 3-for-4 on that touchdown drive and started to look like the guy Tampa Bay thought it was gambling on.
That's a keyword to remember with Baker, he's a gamble for the Bucs that the front office is betting on paying off. Mayfield has a chip on his shoulder and Jason Licht is hoping it motivates him to unlock the No. 1 overall pick potential he showed while with the Browns.
Of course, it's impossible to ignore the fact that Baker's first touchdown pass went to Mike Evans. The Bucs superstar is in the final year of his contract and his Saturday deadline for the front office to offer him a deal went unanswered. Baker didn't look Evans way much in the first half, but he managed to find him when it mattered most -- which is certainly going to be remembered by Evans and his agents.