Week 1 of the 100th NFL season is in the books and Sunday’s results were quite unexpected! Tampa Bay kicked off week 1 by having a pre-game concert with country super star, Tim McGraw! The 49ers beat the Bucs 31-17, a game that was very much in the Bucs control the first half of the game. Early in the first quarter San Francisco drove down the field, attempting to get into the end zone and fell short having to settle for a field goal. That was an early indicator in the game that the 49ers meant business, but that the Bucs young defense were going to continuing impressing fans with their consistency even after pre-season.
Although the Bucs had hopeful offensive progressions, they struggled to find a rhythm on offense, mainly due to the aggression that the Niners defensive was predicted to have. With front men like, Nick Bosa, Dee Ford and Deforest Buckner, it was anticipated that the Bucs offense would face a lot of pressure. Regardless of San Francisco’s defense, Tampa Bay showed an impressive running game for a time that did not have one. Everyone is quite familiar with Peyton Barber and his running back abilities when he is protected, but the eye catcher of this game was sophomore, Ronald Jones II. Jones created opportunity for the Bucs to trot downfield and showed that he is not afraid to lower his shoulder and fight for those few extra yards. Last year, in Jones’ rookie season, he only appeared briefly in a few games and was managing through a hamstring injury, so what his role would be in this year’s offense was not well known.
In the post-game press conference, we asked Coach Arians, what was his biggest coaching challenge against this 49er’s defense, he said “turnovers” coach also mentioned that he may have gotten greedy in the second half of the game on 4th down when he had the Bucs go for it rather than settle for a field goal. A call like that shows us the trust he has in maturing quarterback, Jameis Winston. Another fact that played against both teams in this game were the many flags thrown and a total of five called back touchdowns.
This loss could have been either teams, but unfortunately an interception in the 4th quarter changed the chances of Tampa Bay coming back. In the press conference Jameis Winston said that the team has a quick turn around this week, so they will watch film and then turn their attention towards Thursday’s road game in Charlotte, North Carolina versus the Panthers.