Baker Mayfield and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are 3-2 (1-0 in the division). With the Atlanta Falcons on the schedule this week, Tampa has an enormous opportunity to maintain their first place positioning in the NFC South. Facing a precious chance to start 2023 with a 2-0 record in their division, Baker Mayfield has to make sure the bakery is ready to serve.
Last week was not the Buccaneers’ best showing. Before Tampa Bay’s bye week, the average Bucs fan would’ve said “Baker Mayfield is the man!” Optimism was high coming off of Tampa Bay’s defeat of the New Orleans Saints. After the bye week, not so much. Tampa Bay lost to the Detroit Lions in week six and the team’s offense failed to score a single touchdown.
Chef Mayfield only hit on 19 of 37 passes that added up to 206 yards with an untimely interception. Several of Mayfield’s misses were critical. On two separate occasions, Tampa went for a third down deep shot. Both of Dave Canales’ calls resulted in a wide open Trey Palmer down field and both of Trey Palmer’s wide open opportunities resulted in identical disappointments— overthrown, incomplete passes. Tampa’s star receiver tandem? They only netted a combined 10 catches. Neither Chris Godwin nor Mike Evans topped 80 yards last week. This week, the bakery will need more contributions from its head chef and co. to get to 4-2.
Against the Atlanta Falcons, Tampa Bay’s defense should play well. No matter how well they manage, the team cannot survive with an offensive output that mirrors last Sunday’s. The Buccaneers need more than six points and more than zero touchdowns. Last week, Sam Howell only accumulated 151 yards through the air but the Washington Commanders' passer tossed three touchdowns against the Falcons. Atlanta’s defense hasn’t snagged an interception since the first of the month. Baker Mayfield does not need a five touchdown, 400-yard game, but Tampa’s quarterback needs to wash away the stain of last week. Mayfield has an interception in three consecutive games— a streak that would ideally be broken against the team's NFC South rival this week.
Where is your confidence level going into this game?
This poll is closed
7-10: BIG bounce back game for Chef Mayfield.
5-6: I don't know about this chef, my order was burnt last time.
0-4: Atlanta's an underrated team. They could surprise us.
For more Bucs coverage check us out here: @Will_Walsh_NFL (X)