By Jan Boger @pignite
When football critics and Buccaneer fans think of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, they never ever see them as an offensive team. Even when offensive guru Coach John Gruden took them to SuperBowl XXXVII with an 11-5 record and defeated the Oakland Raiders 48-21 for the 7th largest margin of victory in Super Bowl history, they were not an offensive team. That’s because 3 of their touchdowns were interceptions made by the defense! Even in today’s football era, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense lends the name to a defensive scheme, The Tampa Two.
On September 11th, the Buccaneers opened their 2016 season against the Atlanta Falcons. It was an eerie start to the game for 2 Buccaneer coaches since Tampa Bay’s head coach, Dirk Koetter had been Atlanta’s offensive coordinator just 2 years ago (2012-2014) and the Tampa’s new defensive coordinator, Mike Smith had been Atlanta’s head coach for 8 years (2006-2014). But as the consummate professionals they are, they had prepared their team well.
The Buccaneers offensive play makers this game were comprised of their franchise quarterback Jameis Winston, RBs Doug Martin (54 yards at the half) and Charles Sims (23 yard catch-and-run TD), TEs Brandon Meyers (1 TD) and Austin Seferian-Jenkins (30 yard TD pass), as well as receivers Vincent Jackson and Mike Evans (45 yard TD pass).
Jameis Winston completed 23 of 33 passes for a total of 281 yards. He had 4 TDs and 1 interception with a QB passer rating of 122.6 and he is tied for the most TDs in the league with 4. Jameis was named the NFC offensive player of the week and FedEx Air Player of the week.
RB Doug Martin balances the offense. He ended the 2015 season at 2nd in the NFL with 1,402 rushing yards. You add those “tall trees” Vincent Jackson and Mike Evans at wide receivers, TEs Brandon Meyers and Austin Seferian-Jenkins, and….. well……. it looks like the Tampa Bay Buccaneers FINALLY have some offense. And, I didn’t even mention who else helped out, like the O-Line, the D-Line, defensive play makers DT Gerald McCoy, LB Levonte David, or LB Kwon Alexander. I’ll leave that for another week!
All these years the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have been synonymous with defense, but 2016 may be the year they FINALLY……. FINALLY add some OFFENSE!
Featured image of Brandon Meyers courtesy: buccaneers.com
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