The Tampa Bay Buccaneers Week 1 matchup against the Dallas Cowboys is long in the books. While they are ready for their Week 2 matchup against the Atlanta Falcons, we are taking a look back at a few things we learned from last week following their 31-29 win on opening night to see what they can improve on or continue moving forward with.
Struggles in the secondary were apparent
Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys are no pushovers. But their offense easily picked up blitzes and picked apart the Buccaneers secondary often. And once injuries started happening in the Bucs secondary, Tampa Bay relied on zone coverage that Prescott successfully threw against. The times they were not in zone, well, it wasn’t much different. We don’t know if things would have been different if Sean Murphy-Bunting wasn’t lost to injury. All we know is that Prescott put up 403 yards against a Super Bowl defense. That can’t continue to happen, and they’ll be faced with adversity if Carlton Davis III’s hamstring is not 100-percent after missing the final before the Week 2 game. That’s two starting cornerbacks the Bucs can potentially be down.
Tom Brady still has “it”
Quarterback Tom Brady at 44 years old still played like the game like a much younger version. Ageless wonder? We’ll wait and see. But if it weren’t for him, the Buccaneers may have lost this football game. Brady’s 379 yards and four touchdown passes were impressive enough. However, the final drive that he orchestrated to put the Bucs in position to kick the game winning field is what makes Brady so great. He was cerebral, and Tampa Bay should count their blessings he was under center last Thursday night.
Runningbacks and the Running Game
Ronald Jones and Leonard Fournette did not have good games against the Cowboys. Veteran Giovani Bernard wasn’t even involved as much as many thought he would be. But the bigger issue here was the lack of a running game. Jones’ number was not called again after his fumble in the second quarter and Fournette had his share of struggles in the passing game with a drop that resulted in an interception on top of a couple others before finally getting things going in the second half, barely. Bernard did have a key catch in run on the game winning drive, but that was it. The Buccaneers tan the ball a total of 14 times. for a total of 52 yards. Establishing the running game may have helped keep the Bucs defense on the sideline and the time of possession more in Tampa Bay’s favor. With Jones starting this Sunday, we’ll see if the running game looks any different from Week 1.