“If you want to be the best, you have to beat the best”. Does this mean that we are now the Linear Champions? I couldn’t help but feel the Bucs were dethroning the current champs as they defeated the Eagles on Sunday night. Whether or not it was en route to collecting the crown themselves, remains to be seen.
After the blistering start to the game in week one, I was in my armchair in plenty of time ahead of the game. If you have read my posts in the past, you’ll know that I rely on NFL Gamepass so that I can watch games live in the UK. Unfortunately, Gamepass decided to not play ball this Sunday. Instead, the dulcet tones of Scott Hanson on NFL Redzone announced that the Bucs were first out of the traps.
11 seconds is a long way off the somewhat incomprehensible NFL record of 3 seconds for an opening touchdown, but as we are breaking records left right and centre, we can let this one go. I’m delighted that we are using DeSean Jackson so effectively thus far, but as I eluded to in my last article, where was this last year?
What are they feeding this guy? Has Fitzpatrick moved to one of these crazy vegan/natural diets that means his body is now getting younger? Last week I spoke about how he played with an air of freedom. This week he played like he did last week, only it was over 100 degrees at the Raymond James! For exactly how long Fitzpatrick remains Fitzmagic, I couldn’t say. I will say this though, even if implodes in the next game and doesn’t play again this season, he has brought the fans a joy we didn’t think we would experience and for that, I thank him.
Godwin was our best-kept secret. The ‘experts’ looked at the Bucs wide receivers and lauded the likes of Evans and Jackson. Now the world knows that it’s pretty busy in the wideouts room. Godwin can’t get enough credit for me given how young he is. His contribution to O.J Howard’s touchdown was immense. Players like Godwin get me excited, he has a great blend of athletic ability and availability. Just look at how wide open he was for his touchdown for an example of the latter. I don’t think Chris Godwin has a nickname from the fans yet. He needs one.
Strength of schedule
In our preseason predictions, I had the Bucs as a 7-9 team. At this point, I very much hope that I am wrong. We had one of the toughest list of games in the NFL for 2018, largely made that way by our first 3 games. Defeating the 2017 NFC Champions, followed by the 2017 World Champions and the prospect of potentially following up with a win over the 13 win AFC North winners from last year – how’s that schedule looking now? Vegas, or the UK equivalent, would suggest it’s much easier. In our remaining 13 games after the Steelers, we only play 2 teams (Saints and Falcons) currently seen to be more favoured by the money men.
Linear champions defend their title
Where’s my money this week? A home win. You can’t underestimate any team in the NFL, certainly not one that contains Antonio Brown. The Steelers, however, have already given up 58 points this year and have yet to win. If Fitzpatrick continues with his newfound swagger (minus the costume), I think this Bucs team can pile more pressure on to an organization that already has a lot going on off the field.
I’ll return next week with more thoughts, from the outside, looking in. Go Bucs.