After one week of the season, the Buccaneers are alone in first place in the NFL South.
Let that sink in for a moment.
The Bucs played a great game in beating the Falcons in Atlanta, 31-24. The Saints lost. So did the Panthers on Thursday night.
There was so much to like about this game. Let’s start with Jameis Winston, who threw four touchdown passes to four different receivers. It was a great way to bounce back from an early interception that led to a Falcons’ touchdown. Mike Evans and Austin Sefarian-Jenkins made gorgeous catches in the end zone. And then there was the short toss to Charles Sims, who broke about four tackles on his way to pay dirt. It was an amazing individual effort. Brandon Myers caught the other TD; who saw that one coming?
The defense was…..well, good enough to win. They sacked Matt Ryan three times. The real star was Kwon Alexander, who had 17 tackles to go with one of those sacks. And late in the game – when you were starting to have flashbacks to the Washington debacle from last season – the defense came up with the stop it needed.
Roberto Aguayo made all five of his kicks. After what he went through in the first half of the preseason, that deserves a mention.
It would’ve been nice to see more from the running game. Doug Martin and company struggled throughout, though Martin did have a couple of big runs in the fourth quarter to help bleed the clock.
Congrats, Dirk Koetter. You’re 1-0 as an NFL head coach.
The bottom line: Tampa Bay beat a division opponent on the road. That in itself is a big deal.
Photo Courtesy: buccaneers.com