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The Buccaneers have their biggest half-time lead since 2001

The Bucs are crushing the Bears, 26-0.

NFL: Chicago Bears at Tampa Bay Buccaneers Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are crushing it in their first game of the 2017 regular season: they’re beating the Chicago Bears 26-0 at halftime, benefiting from a whopping four Bears turnovers.

That lead is the biggest lead the Bucs have had at half time in over 15 years. The last time they had a 26-point lead was in 2001, when they led the New Orleans Saints by 30 points and the Minnesota Vikings by 28 points. Prior to that, they’d only had a half-time lead of that size twice: once in 1981 against the Green Bay Packers, and once in 1998 against the Cincinnati Bengals.

All four of those games were won comfortably by the Bucs, with at least 26-point score margins. There’s no reason to doubt that that will happen again today.

Most notably, though, this game reinforces the Bucs’ offseason hype. Their defense looks just as good as it did at the end of last season, and the offense needs a little bit of fine-tuning but looks explosive as well.

One more note: the Bucs made the playoffs in two of the three seasons in which they held a 26-point lead. How about that?