The Bucs FINALLY played a football game that mattered on Sunday afternoon and boy oh boy was it a fun one (Unless you are Mike Glennon). The Bucs really looked good on a very hot Sunday and maybe part of that heat may have been because of the Bucs… Because, well, they were on FIRE! (See what I did there?) As a result of that play, I have many positives and very few negatives. Let’s take a look.
Best of the Best
WR Mike Evans- Bucs stud receiver Mike Evans picked up where he left off in this game. He was used early and often for the Bucs and everyone can tell that Winston and Evans have great chemistry because whenever Winston threw to Evans today it seemed that good things happened. Winston connected with Evans on a TD pass early on in the game and gave Tampa Bay their first TD of the 2017-18 season. Let’s talk about that catch for a minute. This was a fantastic throw but it may have been an even BETTER catch. Evans was able to turn his body, catch the ball and had the awareness to keep both feet in bounds. Perfection, that’s how I would describe Evans’s performance against the Chicago Bears. Mike Evans finished the day with 7 catches for 93 yards and 1 touchdown reception.
The Bucs Linebackers-
This game was definitely a defensive showcase and the Bucs linebackers were a big part of that success. I was so impressed with all three starting Linebackers, that I could not pick one so I decided to put the whole group and they deserved it. Kwon Alexander ended up leaving the game with a hamstring injury, he says that he is fine and could have played more in the game. Before he came out he made one of the biggest plays of the game when he intercepted a Mike Glennon pass to stop the Bears’ drive when they were in field goal range. Lavonte David looked like his old self, he really tackled well and even recovered a fumble. The one who impressed me the most was rookie Linebacker, Kendall Beckwith. Beckwith looked very good as he showed lots of hustle and what many thought was his weakness, turned out to be his strength and that was pass coverage. Beckwith made multiple plays on the ball and looks like a solid player early on in his career.
CB Robert McClain- Veteran Corner and newcomer Robert McClain was signed to a one-year contract by the Bucs in the offseason and won the nickel job in training camp and today he showed why. So, the score is 17-0 and all the momentum is on the Bucs side. What better way to deflate the Bears completely than to step in front of a Mike Glennon pass and take it 47 yards to the house to make the game officially a blowout. McClain made a great first impression with the Bucs and their fans and I hope to see his success continue throughout the season.
The Worst of the Worst
RB Charles Sims- Last year Charles Sims had a very good opening weekend. He put at least 5 Falcon defenders out of their shoes as he ran straight to the endzone for the touchdown. This year opening day was a bit different for good old Twinkle Toes. Sims did not really have any big-time runs and when he caught the ball all it resulted in was a fumble that the Bears recovered. That was Tampa Bay’s only turnover of the game and had Sims not fumbled, the Bucs would have been in the red zone would have likely scored a TD on the tired Bears defense. Sims must figure out some of his problems or he likely will not get many touches if any touches at all when Doug Martin returns from his suspension.
WR Chris Godwin- I know, I know. He is a rookie and all but the Penn State product appears to need to work with Jameis Winston after practice a bit more. It seemed like Godwin and Winston just were not on the same page. One play in particular really proved this to me. The Bucs were in the Red Zone and Jameis Winston threw a ball to the endzone and Chris Godwin did not seem to have any clue that ball was coming to him. If he turns his head around that’s a Touchdown instead of a Field Goal. Godwin will learn and develop into a good football player, but for now, I have to put him on this list.
The Bucs came out and did what they need to do to get a dominating W. A playoff team is supposed to beat up on the bad teams and that is exactly what the Bucs did to the Bears. The offense still needs a little bit of time to grow and they will get there. Nick Folk also making 5/6 total kicks including a 50 yarder to end the first half. If this defense continues to dominate the way they did on Sunday, this team will be in the playoffs. There is a bigger test next week as the Bucs travel to Minnesota to take on a 1-1 Vikings team. Thank you all for reading and GO BUCS!