Much of the offseason commentary for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers was focused on the offense: DeSean Jackson, O.J. Howard, Mike Evans, another year of maturation for Jameis Winston would result in an explosive offense that may only be held back by its running game, the unreliable defense and, of course, the offensive line.
One game in, and that expectation has been blown out of the water. That terrible offensive line demolished the Chicago Bears front, which performed reasonably well the week before against the Atlanta Falcons. Donovan Smith had a few too many poor plays, as usual, but many dominant ones—and everyone else more than held their own.
But it’s not just the offensive line where most analysts missed the Bucs. The offense hasn’t been explosive yet, but that’ll come—judging by DeSean Jackson getting open deep at least three times. The running game wasn’t an issue against the Bears either, and while Doug Martin’s return will be welcomed, Jacquizz Rodgers and Peyton Barber are capable of holding the fort for now.
More importantly, though, most offseason analyses seem to have completely whiffed on the Bucs defense. The pass-rush was lively against the Bears, even though the team notched only one sack, and the three takeaways and shutout until the final two minutes of the games were signs of dominance, rather than imminent collapse.
Of course, all of that happened in just one game. Who knows what the Bucs will look like in one or two weeks? But for now, everyone was wrong: the Bucs are good, in every facet of the game.