W, 20-14 @ Panthers
Maybe the Tampa Bay Buccaneers aren’t quite as bad as many of us thought.
This, after the Bucs upended the Carolina Panthers on the road on Thursday Night Football. That’s pretty impressive, despite all the issues and injuries the Panthers are dealing with right now.
One has to give credit to defensive coordinator Todd Bowles, who might not be a great head coach. But as a coordinator, he’s transformed Tampa Bay’s defense from nearly unwatchable to respectable.
It helped having some key playmakers come aboard during the offseason, too, including EDGE Shaquil Barrett, who was a force in Week 2 with three sacks.
Still, the Buccaneers focus remains on quarterback Jameis Winston, who wasn’t perfect, but still tossed for over 200 yards and had a touchdown. And while having a third-down conversion rate of just 17 percent isn’t usually a winning formula, a team in transition like the Bucs will happily take a road win over a division rival.
Now, Tampa Bay doesn’t have to look at itself as the laughingstock of the NFC South.