Jameis Winston still threw an interception, despite Derek Carr getting the surprise start after leaving the Saints’ Week 3 matchup with the Green Bay Packers with a shoulder injury.
And the Tampa Bay Buccaneers still got a 26-9 victory.
The Bucs defense limited the production of running back Alvin Kamara, who returned from a 3-game suspension to start the year following some (stop me if you’ve heard this before) legal trouble that took place in Las Vegas a year-and-a-half ago.
The D also made Carr uncomfortable and unwilling to push the ball down the field, by applying pressure and shutting down the run game.
Offensively, the Bucs did enough to get the job done, with quarterback Baker Mayfield continuing his solid start to the season despite his one silly interception and other somewhat questionable throws that could’ve easily added to that total.
The Buccaneers ran for over 100 yards, with Baker contributing 31 of his own and Rachaad White having another average game (compared to last season, average is a huge step forward).
While the game itself was a bit boring and kind of a dud, the victory was anything but, as the Bucs moved to 3-1 on the season with the victory as they go into their early Week 5 Bye.
Honestly, I don’t know that anyone could have asked for anything more from this Bucs team. It lost last week to Philly, and hasn’t looked perfect in a couple of these victories, but at the same time, if the Bucs continue to play like this, they will coast to a third consecutive NFC South division title, something the Bucs have never done in team history.
I’m not going to totally abandon my prediction that the Bucs will struggle this season
; it’s early, and anything can happen in the long 17-week season. But to get to 3-1, there has to be something there that’s successful, and the Bucs’ remaining schedule isn’t exactly super difficult.
Their only games that are likely losses are against the Bills, 49ers, and maybe the Jaguars, although I’m not entirely sold on them quite yet. Every other game remaining is very much winnable, and from an optimist’s perspective they really could win every matchup.
Obviously, that’s unlikely, but even if the Bucs lose those three games against the aforementioned teams and go .500 for the rest, they’ll end up 8-9, which was good enough to win the division last season. I wouldn’t be surprised if that won the division this year, too.
Fire those cannons. It’s a good time to be a Bucs fan.
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