Tampa Bay is currently 6-point underdogs via DraftKings Sportsbook. How will they ensure they’ll come out victorious Sunday? Our staff weighs in with their predictions for the Bucs game and picks for the rest of the NFL’s Week 1 games.
Gil Arcia: Trey Palmer does a thing
The Buccaneers may have drafted a gem in the sixth round of the 2023 NFL Draft when they selected wide receiver Trey Palmer. The young man from Nebraska has shown up throughout camp, and he made his presence felt throughout preseason. Well, we’ve arrived at the regular season and Palmer’s stellar play will continue. He won’t have a record-breaking day like Anquan Boldin had in his rookie debut (10 receptions, 217 yards, 2 touchdowns), but he’ll certainly reach the end zone at least once with over 100 yards receiving. Yes, I am sipping the Kool-Aid.
James Yarcho: Rachaad Runs Wild
Rachaad White has embraced everything about being an RB 1 in his second season - now it’s time for the work and the mentality to come to fruition on the field. Dave Canales’ offense is going to rely heavily on the run game and White is the guy that will see biggest bulk of that opportunity. Just take a look at Kenneth Walker III last year with Seattle - he was on the field for 53% of snaps last season and on those snaps, he touched the ball 44% of the time. White will finish with over 100 rushing yards, over 50 receiving yards, and find the end zone.
Evan Wanish: Winfield’s homecoming
Bucs safety Antoine Winfield Jr has a long past with Minnesota and specifically the Vikings. His father, Antoine Winfield Sr played nine productive seasons with the Vikings, making the pro bowl in three of those seasons. Winfield Jr would later become a star at the University of Minnesota and then was selected by Tampa Bay in 2020. This is Winfield’s first time playing in Minnesota since his college days and he will make it count. Winfield will record the first takeaway of 2023 for the Bucs defense when he picks off Kirk Cousins.
Mike Kiwak: 5 sacks? You like that?
Tampa placed a heavy emphasis this offseason on reinforcing a diminished pass rush in 2022 (Vita Vea, who didn’t even play every game, was the team’s leader in sacks). Shaq Barrett is recovered from his Achilles tendon injury and playing with more personal fire than ever, and I think he delivers much-needed pressure on Kirk Cousins. Add in Vea, rookies YaYa Diaby and Markees Watts, and Antoine Winfield Jr. as players who get in on driving Cousins down into the turf. Five sacks pace a strong defensive effort.
Will Walsh: Canales calls a brilliant game
Sunday will be Dave Canales’ first (official) game as an NFL play caller. If his team’s preseason execution is any representation of how the regular season is set to go Tampa’s offense should be formidable. Count on Canales’ offense posting 450 total yards on the stat sheet. Win or lose, Tampa’s offense will move the ball.