Photo by Tori Richman/Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Donovan Smith is still one of the worst tackles in the league.
At this point, who the hell knows what’s going to happen with the Bucs. But we can at least guess, right?
The Bucs take on the San Francisco 49ers and their new rookie quarterback, Mr. Irrelevant himself, Brock Purdy
The last pick of this past NFL draft was thrust into action last Sunday due to a season-ending injury dealt to Jimmy Garoppolo in the 49ers’ matchup with the Miami Dolphins.
But the 49ers still have the NFL sack leader in defensive end Nick Bosa coming off the edge, as well as the best statistical defense in the NFL.
San Fran’s offense features a trio of dynamic playmakers who can change the course of a game in an instant, with running back Christian McCaffrey, tight end George Kittle, and wide receiver/running back/whatever else he feels like doing Deebo Samuel.
On paper this should be a relatively even, if not low-scoring affair, but I believe the 49ers will edge this one out 14-10. The Bucs are still missing three starting offensive linemen, Donovan Smith is still one of the worst tackles in the league, and Tom Brady is still as immobile as ever.
Bosa and this 49ers defense will have a field day getting after TB12, and it’ll be up to the Bucs’ defense to force some turnovers, something they haven’t done particularly well, as they're the third worst team in the NFLin that category, ranking ahead of only the Raiders and Saints.
Plus, the 49ers are the NFC West leaders for a reason. They’re well-coached defensively and have enough explosiveness on the offensive side of the ball to make up for any shortcomings the rookie QB Purdy might have.
This isn't a reason for discouragement; the Bucs will be another in a long list of teams to struggle offensively against the 49ers. Tampa Bay is bad offensively for a multitude of reasons. This performance against San Fran should not sway or influence anyone’s thinking of them.
It’s truly a Bucs life, but at least Atlanta has panicked into promoting rookie QB Desmond Ritter into a starting role, making the likelihood of the Falcons actually catching the Bucs in the NFC South even smaller.
So rejoice, even when the Bucs lose this weekend. Things could be worse.