Tom Brady walked into AT & T stadium week one for Sunday night football and knocked the Cowboys off their saddle. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers won 19-3 over the Dallas Cowboys Sunday Night to kick off the season.
He threw for 212 yards, one touchdown, and had a 66% completion percentage. The only touchdown was scored in the third quarter when Brady found Evans on first and goal with three minutes left. Mike Evans led the Bucs with five receptions for 71 yards. Newly acquired Julio Jones had three receptions for 69 yards. Leonard Fournette was hauling the offense on the ground with 21 runs for 171 yards, averaging 6 yards per gain.
Todd Bowles praised his offense after the game in a press conference uploaded by the team.
“Fournette had some holes to run through, as did Rashaad. They held up in the passing game over there. Mike did a good job.”
He did hope the team capitalized on more opportunities, as the team had four field goals near the red zone. The highlight was a 47-yard FG by Ryan Succop midway through the second quarter.
The game may have been a snooze fest for those tuning in to enjoy SNF, but for Tampa Bay, there’s lots of promise, especially on defense.
The defensive line applied pressure throughout the game. Devin White sacked Dak twice, while Anthony Nelson and Vita Via each got to the Dallas Cowboys QB once. White led the team with seven tackles, and Antoine Winfield Jr. trailed behind with five. Winfield Jr. also picked off a ball from Prescott with six minutes left to go in the half.
They held Ezekiel Elliot to 52 yards on the ground despite being given the ball ten times and held Dallas to under 200 yards through the air. Dalton Schultz, a top three TE in the league, caught the ball seven times but only had 62 yards.
“For the first game against a great team, I thought we did pretty good.”
In the bigger picture, the NFC South had a tough showing this week, and the Bucs began the year giving up the least amount of points. The Carolina Panthers lost by two points as Baker returned to Cleveland. The Atlanta Falcons lost by one to the Saints, where quarterbacks Jameis Winston and Taysom Hill scored.
Speaking of the Saints, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers travel to New Orleans this Sunday in a divisional battle. The two will battle it out to see who is at the top of the NFC South. As mentioned, the Saints have two quarterbacks who can do damage, unlike Dallas without Dak. In addition to that, Alvin Kamara is a threat in the ground game. That will present a new challenge for Tampa Bay’s defense as they prepare to balance the pressure between trenches and the air.
The Saints might be a sleeper this year with their already mentioned arsenal on offense and intimidating defense. They recorded over 40 tackles against the Falcons in week 1, led by Pete Werner with 11. No interceptions on the year, but Tom Brady will have to watch out because this defensive line will be looking to turn him into an Angel.
No matter who wins the game, both teams will bring everything they got to the tank. A battle for the NFC South is on the line the atmosphere will be wild in New Orleans. Will Brady steer the Bucs to 2-0, or will the Saints go marching into the season as 2-0? Find out this Sunday at Noon.