Bucs will probably win their season opener, but if not, that’s OK

Strap in.

click to enlarge The Bucs should beat the Cowboys fairly easily, 35-24. - Photo by Tori Richman/Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Photo by Tori Richman/Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Bucs should beat the Cowboys fairly easily, 35-24.

The Tampa Bay Bucs take on the Dallas Cowboys this Thursday at Raymond James Stadium for the NFL’s first game of the 2021-2022 regular season.

While the Bucs are at full-strength (and at the ever-important 100% vaccination rate), the Cowboys will be without All-Pro right guard Zack Martin, who tested positive for the coronavirus and is on the reserve/COVID-19 list. 

Martin is vaccinated, so he is able to return to play five days after testing negative twice and showing no symptoms over the five days, but because of when his positive test came in it won’t be in time for Thursday’s game. 

What does this mean for the Bucs defensively? 

A much easier time stopping the run. 

Martin is the best guard in the NFL, and he blocks for one of the most explosive running backs in the NFL, Ezekiel Elliott, but without Martin leading the way the Bucs and their number one rush defense will have a much easier time containing the former Ohio State Buckeye. Plus, without Martin anchoring the interior line, perhaps Vita Vea and Ndamokung Suh can even get in on the pass rushing fun usually reserved for JPP and Shaq Barrett. 

As for the other side of the ball, the Bucs should have an easy time offensively. It is the first game of the regular season, so don’t be shocked if they get off to a slow start, but with how inexperienced and weak the Cowboys are at every level defensively, Brady should have no problem picking apart Dallas’ secondary. 

The Bucs should win this game fairly easily, 35-24. They have the offensive firepower to score a lot against the Cowboys, and their defense should be able to hold up enough to pull this one out. 

With all of that being said, this is still the NFL, and anything can happen (“any given Sunday” and all that shit). The Bucs could very easily lose this game, because as bad as the Cowboys are defensively, they’re just as good offensively. They, too, have three elite receivers in Amari Cooper, CeeDee Lamb and Michael Gallup, as well as a good offensive line (even without Martin) and Ezekiel Elliott taking handoffs from Dak Prescott, who’s out to prove he’s deserving of that huge contract extension he received this offseason. 

So don’t be disappointed if the Bucs lose. It’s just one game in what will be a very long, very up-and-down season.

Strap in.


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