4 winners (and 2 losers) from Bucs upset win over Vikings

Let's take a look at who stood out in the Bucs upset win in Week 1.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Minnesota Vikings
Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Minnesota Vikings / David Berding/GettyImages
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Winner: Chase McLaughlin, K

While the quarterback battle got all of the attention at training camp, the one that brewed at kicker was almost as interesting.

The Bucs parted ways with veteran Ryan Succop during the offseason as both a cost-cutting measure and an attempt to upgrade the position. It wasn't that Succop was inaccurate, rather it was his limitations that held him back. Succop lacked the big leg Tampa Bay needed, which is why Chase McLaughlin was brought in during free agency.

The knock on McLaughlin was that he might also lack that big leg ability, which is why Rodrigo Blankenship was brought in during minicamp and the two were pitted in a battle during training camp. McLaughlin emerged victorious, but mostly due to how disaterous Blankenship was.

On Sunday, McLaughlin proved he was truly the right guy for the job when he nailed a clutch kick from 57 yards out. It matched a career-long he set back in 2021 with Cleveland but most importantly gave the Bucs a 20-17 lead that ended up being the difference.

Baker Mayfield deserves all the credit in the world for the gutsy game-clinching drive he put together, but McLaughlin was equally as important and gutsy with what amounted to the game-winning kick from long range.