Two or three years ago, a shootout between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and New Orleans Saints wouldn’t have been too big a surprise.
More from Niner Noise
- 49ers 2023 NFL Draft tracker: Pick-by-pick news and analysis
- Predicting 49ers NFL Draft picks by looking at final mocks
- DraftKings NFL Draft Promo – Win $150 Guaranteed on Any $5 Bet
- 2023 NFL Draft: EDGE Byron Young could be impact player for 49ers
- 5 low-key NFL Draft options for 49ers who are flying under the radar
But the 48-40 Week 1 bout was yet another one of those weird contests. After all, the Saints are supposed to be a Super Bowl contender, especially on defense. The Bucs, meanwhile, are supposed to be terrible this season.
Just no one told Tampa Bay.
Without quarterback Jameis Winston (suspension), backup QB Ryan Fitzpatrick emulated his heyday with the Jets from not long ago, tossing for an astounding 417 yards with four touchdowns, zero interceptions and a passer rating of 156.3.
Yeah, you read that right.
Wide receivers Mike Evans and DeSean Jackson each nearly reached 150 yards receiving too, finally showcasing what the Buccaneers offense should have looked like last season.
Granted, the Bucs defense still looks bad. But their ability to knock off a contender in the Saints this early in the season surely warrants a nice climb in our NFL power rankings heading into Week 2.