Photo via Buccaneers
Okay, so maybe that isn’t actually a quote from "Breaking Bad," but given running back Rachaad White’s stellar performance in the Bucs’ 21-16 victory over the Seahawks Sunday morning in the first NFL game ever played in Germany, I just thought the opportunity for a reference was too good to pass up.
After Leonard Fournette exited the game in the second half with a hip injury, White ran for 105 yards in a coming-out game of sorts that perhaps cemented his place as RB1 for the time being.
The Bucs’ victory was one where Tom Brady did not have to put up his usual 40-plus passes (he only threw 29), mostly due to the running game finally breaking through and having a monster game. The team ran for 161 total yards and looked confident running the ball for the first time since the group ran for 100 yards against the Dallas Cowboys in Week 1.
This was a huge win for the Bucs, and one that I did not see coming
. Tampa Bay hasn’t looked this complete all season. But in Deutschland, the offense finally seemed to get it mostly together, apart from that odd trick play attempt that had Leonard Fournette throwing a pick on a pass attempt to TB12 lined up on the outside.
Defensively the Bucs did just enough to get by against a usually explosive Seattle offense led by QB Geno Smith. Smith managed to make it close at the end with a pair of touchdown passes in the fourth quarter, but in the end it wasn’t quite enough. The Bucs were able to salt away the victory on a combination of a 37-yard toss to Julio Jones (who had a coming-out game of his own with a TD catch and 53 yards receiving) and a 19-yard run by Mr. White.
Overall this was the type of performance the Bucs will need to replicate moving forward. Both sides of the ball looked energized, and what better way to go off into the bye week than with a complete team victory like this one. It seems like the Bucs are capitalizing on their momentum created in the spectacular game-winning drive from last week against the Rams, and hopefully the bye week will allow them some time to continue to get healthy and try and start playing over-.500 football again.
Around the division, the Carolina Panthers took down the Atlanta Falcons Thursday night and the Saints took took an L against the Steelers early Sunday afternoon. The Bucs now have sole possession of the NFC South, and it doesn’t seem as if that will change for the remainder of the season, with the rest of the NFC South looking as poor as it does.
I’m not saying the Bucs are back, I’m not saying the Bucs are going to the Super Bowl. But man, it was nice to see them actually play hard for four full quarters. Linebacker Devin White looked like he took the criticism from the public to heart, as he was all over the field, forcing a key fumble in the red zone in the third quarter and leading the team in both total tackles and sacks.
Fire those cannons, it’s good to be a Bucs fan again.