Gameday Preview: Bucs at Vikings

It’s gameday, baby! Well, sort of. It’s still preseason, but it’s nigh impossible to resist the hype. Today, not tomorrow or next week, TODAY the Tampa Bay Buccaneers go to work against someone other than themselves. In the frigid north, or at least the less scorching heat, the Bucs are visiting the Minnesota Vikings. So pull yourself together and get down to the Winghouse for the WTB? Kickoff Party!

As we all know, preseason is the time of year where everything is made up and the points don’t matter. Does that mean today doesn’t matter? Not in the least. Not only will we get to see Jameis Winston take the field in an NFL uniform for the first time ever, but we’ll get a brief glimpse of the men who will be pushing themselves this season and the young men who are struggling to hold a spot on the roster.

What to Expect: Bucs at Vikings Preseason Preview

It’s hard to know exactly how much of Jameis Winston we’re going to see, but it’s safe to expect anywhere from one possession to one quarter. The most important things will be execution and safety. There is a very real possibility that Winston will struggle, but don’t jump straight to panic mode.

Winston needs to work out the kinks now so that those struggles aren’t there come game one against the Tennessee Titans. In front of Winston, keep a close careful eye on the fat guys protecting him. Regardless of who is starting, the unit needs to work together. That includes creating lanes for a, hopefully, impressive renewed Doug Martin. As the second and third string start to see the field, it will continue to be important to see good execution and teamwork from the men on the offensive line and skill positions.

On the defensive side of the ball, there needs to be a true pass rush. The defensive line needs to make an impact fast, and should give Teddy Bridgewater a reason to be scared. In the secondary, even when they’re going up against lesser opposition in later parts of the game, they need to be creating turnovers. Say it with me. I want interceptions, and I want them now!

There’s plenty of younger talent that will see the field today, and all of them will be looking to make an impact. Familiarize yourself with some of the names you don’t recognize, and keep a close watch for emerging playmakers. Above all, the most important thing in this game is health. Everyone needs to make an impact and shake off the cobwebs, but nobody wants injuries at this stage. If the players have their moments, and not a single Viking or Buccaneer leaves injured, the game was a success.

There you have it. A few things to watch for today, but don’t let yourself get too caught up in the fine details. The hard-hitting analysis can come later. Today is about celebrating Buccaneer football and celebrating ten years of WTB?. If you’re in the area, the only place to be is Ker’s Winghouse Bar & Grill at 8001 Hillsborough Avenue. See awesome people, possibly win awesome prizes, and watch those awesome Bucs! Siege the day!