The Buccaneers went into Dallas and came out with a convincing 19-3 victory over the Cowboys to win the season opener and start the year 1-0. Before the game, the Bucs Nation staff made some predictions; how right, or wrong were they?
This season we are going to be analyzing each prediction and see if it was on the money or off the mark. Let’s get into it.
Gil Arcia: Rookie RB Rachaad White scores twice
“White had a good camp and preseason and the staff is high on him. He’ll be involved often and Tom Brady will hit him on a dump off pass for a score while he takes in the other off a handoff.”
This is one that Gil would probably want to have back as not only did White not score two touchdowns, but the Buccaneers as a team also only found the endzone once on a beautiful pass and catch from Brady to Evans. The rookie running back finished the night with 6 carries for 14 yards and also had 2 catches for 7 yards.
James Yarcho: Defense drops the hammer
“With the left side of the Cowboys’ line in question, the Buccaneers’ defense will put the pressure on full throttle. Look for the Bucs to get five sacks and two takeaways against the Dallas offense on Sunday night.”
James Yarcho almost hit the nail right on the head with this prediction as the Bucs were able to rack up 4 sacks and had one takeaway. They could have had a couple more takeaways on some near interceptions, but it was not to be. Nonetheless, this is a solid prediction from Yarcho and hopefully the Bucs can continue their success on the defensive side of the ball.
Evan Wanish: Forget JPP, it’s JTS time
“Joe Tryon-Shoyinka is looking to replace the production that veteran Jason Pierre-Paul had in Tampa and he will get off to a good start this week. JTS will have not one, but two sacks against a banged up Dallas offensive line Sunday night.”
I decided to hop on the Joe Tryon-Shoyinka train for this game and while he did not record a sack, he made a couple of noticeable plays, including blowing up a trick play Dallas had planned on the opening drive of the game, which resulted in an 8 yard loss. The sacks weren’t there for JTS on Sunday night, but he continues to flash, and those sacks will eventually come, but this prediction was definitely off.
Mike Kiwak: Julio’s Big Day
“Julio Jones is healthy, has looked strong throughout the offseason, and has a sleek new number. With Chris Godwin still iffy to return and Russell Gage having missed most of the last 5 weeks with a hamstring injury, Jones seems poised to be a primary threat on Sunday. I’ll say his impactful debut includes 6 catches for ~100 yards and a touchdown.”
Mike’s prediction did not quite reach the accuracy he was hoping for, but I think Julio Jones showed a ton of positive signs during the game. Chris Godwin did end up playing in this one, but left early with a hamstring injury. Jones looked like his old self on a 48 yard reception deep down the field which set up a Ryan Succop field goal. While Julio did not have the day Mike predicted, he was still very productive.
Chris Weingarten: Jamel Dean shows up, & shows out
“Dean earned the starting cornerback position over Murphy-Bunting with a strong preseason camp. The loss of Amari Cooper during the off season, and Michael Gallup’s continued recovery from injury leaves the Cowboy receiving core in a weakened state. Look for Dean, and the entire Bucs secondary, to stifle the Cowboys air attack in a dominant performance. I see Dean breaking up 3-4 passes, & not giving up any plays over 20 yards.”
I think Jamel Dean was arguably the Bucs best corner on Sunday night, so good call by Chris here. Dean had multiple pass break ups like he predicted and Dallas barely had any plays over 20 yards. It is an important year for Dean so let’s hope he can keep up his fast start.
Will Walsh: Antoine Winfield, Jr. starts vying for a spot on the All-Pro team
“The Buccaneers safety is coming off his first pro bowl appearance and is poised for a breakout year. The young safety’s success has been on a steady incline since his arrival with the team as a rookie. He is a primetime player and the Sunday Night Football stage will be his playground. Antoine Winfield, Jr. will be involved in a turnover, record a sack and have 5+ tackles.”
Our final prediction is another really close one as Will predicted Antoine Winfield Jr to have a big day and that is exactly what he did. He had 6 tackles and also had an interception. The only thing preventing Will’s prediction from being perfect was Winfield not recording a sack. Either way though, a perfect start for Winfield has he enters year 3 in his promising young career.
Week 1 Verdict:
This was actually a very good week for the staff’s predictions as many of them were very close to happening. Not every week will be like this, but this is a great start for the Bucs Nation staff. The Bucs now head to New Orleans for a big showdown with the Saints in Week 2. Let’s hope there is a 2-0 start in the Bucs future.