It was another glorious Sunday for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
A week after earning an upset win over the Minnesota Vikings to start the season, the Bucs used another NFC North team as cannon fodder on their way to a 2-0 start to the season. Tampa Bay pulled out a 27-17 win over the Bears, overcoming another slow start to hit a stride and once again close out in impressive fashion.
Following a pretty decent first drive on offense, the Bucs defense was gashed by Justin Fields and D.J. Moore. Add to that a blocked field goal on the next offensive possession for Tampa Bay and things looked like they were going to spiral out of control.
That's what made the way things ended so much more satisfying.
Just like last week, Baker found Mike Evans on a huge catch to help the offense find its rhythm which then allowed the defense to settle in. From there, the Bucs took control of the game and clamped down on Chicago at key moments that last year likely would have gotten away from the team.
Case and point was the Bears fatal second-to-last drive of the game. Were this last season the Bucs are probably so on their heels that things probably break down on them. This time around, though, Shaq Barrett literally took the game into his hands and made sure the win was secure.
Listen to epic Bucs radio call of Shaq Barrett pick six off Justin Fields
Barrett intercepted a Justin Fields pass inside of the Bears own five yard line and brought it in for the pick six.
Simply calling it an interception dramatically undersells how epic it was. Barrett reached back and snatched the pass out of the air before rumbling across the goal line. It was epic to see in real time but sounded even better on Buccaneers radio with Gene Deckerhoff on the call.
The touchdown sealed the victory for Tampa Bay, but it feels so much bigger than that. Barrett missed most of last year with an Achilles injury and suffered tragedy this offseason with the death of his young daughter. To see him have this kind of moment goes beyond football.
In terms of what it means for the Bucs, it feels like the monkey has been completely thrown off their Bucs backs, and the sour taste of last season is very quickly being washed out of our mouths.
Games like this didn't happen last season, or if they did the Bucs were on he wrong end of them. Nobody outside of Tampa Bay expected this sort of start to the season, but the guys inside of the locker room did and it's clear they're starting to believe.
The good times are once again rolling, and the Bucs have another great win to carry themselves through the week with ahead of their toughest matchup of the season next Monday night.