Wasn’t it nice to sit and watch all the NFL football you could handle on Sunday without a worry in the world since the Buccaneers already secured their week two victory? Yes, yes it was. Of course, the Buccaneers went into Bank of America Stadium Thursday night and waltzed out with a 20-14 victory over division rival Carolina. Plenty still to talk about regarding that game as well as some of the action from around the NFL from Sunday.
Let’s jump on in.
Six Topics For Conversation
1.) This defense. Todd Bowles has made his mark on the team early in the 2019 season, which could not be more appreciated by a fan base who hasn’t seen defense in years. They’ve allowed just one touchdown over the first two games and shut Christian McCaffrey down completely on Thursday. McCaffrey - who had over 150 yards in each of the games against Tampa Bay in 2018 - was held to 53 total yards on 18 touches. Looking ahead to New York, if the Bucs can have that kind of game against Saquon Barkley, the Bucs should win easily as Eli Manning has become as threatening as Tinkerbell.
2.) Jameis Winston looked better. But he’s not off my poop list yet. I need to see games like that strung together for a month or more. I don’t care if he becomes labeled a “game manager” just as long as the team is finishing with wins. Stop trying to force throws, stop making dumb decisions, just be smart and win.
3.) Don’t panic over Mike Evans or O.J. Howard. This offense is going to continue to take time to get on track. I outlined here what the Cardinals looked like in the first year under Bruce Arians, and it took about half the season for the offense to start putting things together. Both players are elite talents and will get going soon. Many people questioned how Arians was going to use Howard and Cam Brate in 2019 since he isn’t known for utilizing tight ends, and so far they’re not featured at all. Again, things will change. We’re witnessing the infancy stage of this offense. They’re crawling. Next is walking, then running, then full blown sprints.
4.) The running back conundrum. It looks as though this is truly going to be a committee in the sense of whoever is running more effectively in that specific game will get all the carries. Against San Francisco it was Ronald Jones that was running with speed, efficiency, and power. In Carolina? It was the Peyton Barber show. There is no telling who is going to be the guy in any given game, it’s simply what the game dictates. So, if you have either back in fantasy football, good luck on correctly predicting when to start them and when to sit them.
5.) Vita Vea is a monster. No, he isn’t going to have flashy stat lines or be the lead story on Good Morning Football. He is, however, going to continue to rip through the interior of opposing offensive lines, collapse the pocket, and generate pressure right in the quarterback’s grill. He has a superhuman combination of speed and power for a player of his size and we are seeing it on every snap. Yes, there will still be detractors who want to cry about Vea being drafted over Derwin James, but those people will never be happy no matter what Vea does. Ignore them. Vea is an absolute monster that is starting his season off in a big way.
6.) SACK Barrett. For a guy that warranted a response from many of “who?” when the Buccaneers signed him, Shaq Barrett has been incredible. He’s leading the NFL with four sacks and he was all over Cam Newton Thursday night. It got to the point that Newton got the yips and would throw the ball prematurely out of fear of Barrett coming off the edge. All Barrett wanted was a chance to prove he deserved a starting job and so far he’s keeping up his end of the deal.
Six Numbers To Consider
12 - Consecutive road losing streak by Jameis Winston, snapped on Thursday
0 - Number of wins Gerald McCoy has in Bank of America Stadium this season in two games
5 - Number of times Chris Godwin has gone over 100 yards in a game, including Thursday
4 - Total receptions by O.J. Howard this season, zero against Carolina
2 - Bucs to ever have 3 or more sacks in one quarter - Simeon Rice and Shaq Barrett
17.6% - Panthers’ conversion rate on third/fourth down against the Bucs (3/17)
Six Giants To Watch For In Week Three
1.) Saquon Barkley - He’s one of if not the best running back in the NFL. Through two weeks he has 227 rushing yards, 47 receiving yards, and a touchdown. He can hurt you from anywhere on the field and has home run speed that will result in long touchdowns if the linebackers aren’t disciplined and stop him early.
....that’s it. Just Barkley. The rest of the team is trash.
Six Best NFL Sunday Tweets
Even though the Bucs didn’t play, we’ll take a look at some of the best tweets from the weekend.
Just grabbed Adam Vinatieri was he headed to the bus. He said “you’ll here from me tomorrow.” I told him we don’t see him tomorrow. And he said, “Yeah, you will.”— Stephen Holder (@HolderStephen) September 15, 2019
It appears to be an unfortunate end to the career of the greatest kicker the NFL has ever seen. Adam Vinatieri has missed seven kicks in his last three games dating back to last season. It seems like he’s ready to hang up his cleats and be fitted for a gold jacket. Thanks for the memories, Goat.
Full yikes. Has there ever been a team worse than this year’s Dolphins? I would bet my salary that the 1976 Buccaneers would beat them.
Really thought there was a chance the NFL Draft speech was going to get thrown in my face today... Thankful it didn’t.— Pat McAfee (@PatMcAfeeShow) September 15, 2019
A closeup of the wrap on Drew Brees’ hand. pic.twitter.com/xPw7wGW59G— ig: josinaanderson (@JosinaAnderson) September 16, 2019
Bad news for Saints fans and people with Drew Brees in fantasy football. The guy tried to grip a ball and it fell out of his hand immediately. Could be serious.
That feeling when you can sit back and watch other games because your team already won pic.twitter.com/sh2tIcRBfl— Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@Buccaneers) September 15, 2019
Your FIRST PLACE Tampa Bay Buccaneers...— Bucs Nation (@Bucs_Nation) September 15, 2019
Six Super Bowl Bets
1.) New England Patriots - I mean...good heavens
2.) Kansas City Chiefs - Patrick Mahomes just pouring gas on the fire he started last year - that is until the Madden curse sets in
3.) Los Angeles Rams - Got their groove back against the Saints
4.) New Orleans Saints - If the Brees injury isn’t serious, they’re fine. If it is, though...
5.) Dallas Cowboys - I hate the fact that they’re on this list
18.) Tampa Bay Buccaneers - If we can see that offense get on track, this team could be dangerous