What a difference a a few weeks makes.
Depending on who you listened to, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were already dead and buried when Week 1 arrived. After losing Tom Brady and not being able to make any splashy moves thanks to $75 million in dead money, the Bucs were written off as the second-worst team in the league and obvious candidate to tank.
Four weeks into the season the Buccaneers enter their bye week with a 3-1 record and sole possession of first place in the NFC South. It appears nobody in Tampa Bay read the script, one that the team has completely flipped after the first quarter of the season.
Baker Mayfield is playing some of the best football of his career, Todd Bowles has fully put his stamp on the team, and everything is clicking in ways nobody thought they would. Nothing proved that point more than the Bucs dominant victory in Week 4 over the New Orleans Saints.
Heading into the game Cam Jordan shrugged the Bucs off as nothing more than a speed bump he'd forgotten existed, but come Sunday evening he was singing the praises of Baker and admitting the Bucs weren't as bad as he made them out to be.
Jordan wasn't the only person close to the Saints doing some postgame reflecting. Fans who watched their team get dismantled by the Bucs were beside themselves and struggling to figure out what had happened.
Needless to say, it was the cherry on top of the win for Bucs fans.
Saints fans melted down on social media after Buccaneers 26-9 win
Nobody on the bayou took kindly to the Buccaneers domination in Week 4.
After the game, Saints fans were in full meltdown mode with offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael specifically getting called out.
To be fair, the Saints collapsed in a pretty severe way on Sunday afternoon. Despite taking an early lead, New Orleans couldn't find the endzone and was completely shutdown in the red zone all afternoon. Derek Carr didn't appear to be fully healthy, Alvin Kamara was denied any big plays, and both Chris Olave and Michael Thomas were ghosts in the recieving game.
Combine all of that with the fact that Tampa Bay was far and away the better team and it was a recipie for disaster and frustration for Saints fans. Crocodile tears will be shed for them in Tampa Bay, as the trash talk that was directed at Bucs fans all week failed to get backed up, but it's only the first of two meetings between these two teams this season.
The next matchup doesn't happen until New Year's Eve, a game with a lot of football in between and one that could end up deciding the NFC South. Until then, the 3-1 Buccaneers will work on figuring out ways to continue to control the division, soemthing the Saints handed to them in Week 4.