The sun was shining, the tailgates were out, and football was back in Tampa Bay.

The Buccaneers welcomed the cross-country San Francisco 49ers to town to kick off their 2019 regular season, in a battle between two promising quarterbacks: Jameis Winston and Jimmy Garopplo.

The Bucs won the toss and elected to receive the opening kickoff, which meant it was Winston’s time to strike first. Unfortunately, there wasn’t much striking going on in Tampa’s first drive, as they were held to a three-and-out on their first possession. But, in what was suppose to be a routine punt play, the Bucs’ punt was blocked and recovered by the 49ers with good field position.

When the 49ers offense took control, with a short field, they traveled 22 yards in six plays to get into field goal range. Veteran kicker Robbie Gould stepped up and struck it right through the uprights to open the scoring at 3-0.

On the Bucs next possession, they had a bit more success, but not enough to yield points. After a pass interference call on Niners cornerback Richard Sherman, a Peyton Barber run of 14 yards got Tampa to the middle of the field. But that was as far as they would get, as they were forced to punt.

The next two drives, one for each team, ended in punts. But, on the Bucs possession that followed, they had a very long drive, their first long drive of the game. It was a mix of run and pass that got Tampa Bay right around midfield. But the turning point of that drive was when 49ers linebacker Kwon Alexander hit Jameis Winston helmet-to-helmet as Winston was sliding to the ground. This resulted in a big penalty for the 49ers, and resulted in Alexander getting ejected from the game.

As the Bucs marched into the red zone, they would throw two touchdown passes to tight end Cameron Brate, but both were called back due to holding penalties. In the end, Bucs tight end O.J. Howard would fumble a ball and Tampa Bay would leave their eventful 16-play drive with zero points.

But fortune would soon find its way to the Buccaneers sideline. Four plays later, cornerback Vernon Hargreaves would intercept a Jimmy Garoppolo pass and take it back for a touchdown to make the game 7-3 in favor of the Buccaneers.

The 49ers responded with an 11-play, 57-yard drive that ended in a field goal to bring the score to 7-6. On the Bucs very next offensive play, Winston tried to hit Howard over the middle, but the pass went right off of Howard’s hands and was intercepted instead. With a short field to go, we thought the 49ers would surely get some sort of points before the half, but a fumble and recovery by the defense kept the score 7-6 at the end of the second quarter.

The 49ers offense came out guns blazing in the second half. In it, Garoppolo drove the ball 75 yards in just seven plays to punch it in and give San Francisco the lead once again at 13-7. To make matter worse for Tampa Bay, Winston’s first pass of the second half on the very next drive was intercepted and taken back for a touchdown. This now gave the 49ers a quick 20-7 lead.

Though the Bucs were down, they weren’t out, and on the next drive, they bounced back in the best way, marching down the field to the tune of an 11-play 75-yard drive that ended in a touchdown throw and catch from Winston to wide receiver Chris Godwin. That brought the score to within striking distance at 20-14.

The 49ers stayed calm and took their next drive 36 yards in eight plays, but after stalling just beyond Tamp’s side of the 50-yard line, instead of punting it deep into Bucs territory, 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan trotted his kicker out there for a 57-yard attempt. It bounced right off the lower post. No points.

The Bucs took over with momentum on their side and drove the ball 51 yards in nine plays. At the end of it, they were about to attempt a short field goal, but an offsides call on the 49ers then spotted the ball at the 2-yard line, still fourth down. That caused Bucs head coach Bruce Arians to change his mind and go for it. They did and failed.

The 49ers took over with their backs against their own end zone, and after six plays that netted just two yards, the Bucs forced a key punt. Tampa was able to take over with favorable field position, and in the end, Bucs kicker Matt Gay chipped in an easy field goal to bring the score to 20-17.

With just under five minutes to go in the game, the 49ers took over at their own 25-yard line. After making the initial first down tough to pick up, the 49ers had a big run by Raheem Mostert that was then aided by a helmet-to-helmet penalty on Tampa Bay safety Darian Stewart. This brought the ball well into Bucs territory with just over three minutes to play. The Bucs held firm after that and forced a field goal, but San Francisco kicker Robbie Gould came up clutch again to extended the Niners lead to 23-17.

That gave Tampa bay one last chance — knowing a touchdown would win it — with just over two minutes to go. But on the first play of the drive, Winston threw an ill-advised pick-6 to give the 49ers the 31-17 lead.

And that’s how the game would end.

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Trevor Sikkema is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat reporter and NFL Draft analyst for PewterReport.com. Sikkema, an alumnus of the University of Florida, has covered both college and professional football for much of his career. As a native of the Sunshine State, when he's not buried in social media, Sikkema can be found out and active, attempting to be the best athlete he never was. Sikkema can be reached at: [email protected]

42 COMMENTS

  1. What a disgusting performance. Our D played well, but Winston and the O line have us doomed. The season is already over.

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  2. 10 points from Offence 195 yards 1 TD 3 INTS How that QB whispering going Spitball
    Brian Leftwich 1-9 with 10 points to his credit this year.

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    Rating: +21. From 21 votes.
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    • Everyone always bashes BUC-ASS-BOB for his frank comments but it’s very simple…..Performances like this one keep them coming, you couldn’t ask for a better scenario…opening at home, against the 49ers and we lay a doughnut, for all of those who say “Oh, well it’s just the first game….Bahahahaha. This season is over already. The point is, if you want to make believers out of everyone, it’s not necessarily by making the post season or winning a Super Bowl….Quite simple…it’s a show of progression and today gentlemen, we look like the same team, in fact we regress. Offensively we looked absolutely horrible, Dotson with his same old penalties, Winston throwing to god knows who and an O-line that straight up sucks overall.

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  3. I’m in San Diego and they were not showing the game. I guess I was spared the aggravation. Here we go again.

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  4. Garbage. Blow this team up.

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  5. Horrible. And no excuses. There were some bright spots, but why bother even talking about them. This was such a winnable game. We get our first punt blocked – at home!!!!

    Tell me what OJ Howard does well other than look great! Devin White looked like he still has the flu. And there’s really nothing to be said for Jamies.

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    Rating: +14. From 16 votes.
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    • It sounded like the game was in SF based on the fans we hear on tv.

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  6. I love Pink Floyds’s, “Comfortably Numb” Don’t you? No pass rush plus poor performance by jameis equals..Loss no 1. Panthers will have..No mercy. What a..BucLife aye? No tears in my Beers.

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  7. Jameis Winston is WITHOUT A DOUBT one of the worst QBs in the NFL. You guys can try and make any excuse that you want for him that you want, but he can’t throw the deep ball and he can’t stop throwing the ball to the other team. HE IS TRASH!

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    Rating: +19. From 19 votes.
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  8. I know it’s really early in the season..but..it looks like we’ll need a new qb.

    +19
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    Rating: +19. From 19 votes.
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    • Come on Buc Ray he is your favoured QB

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      • Since when has he been my favorite?! I just want a qb that can help us win!

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        • Maybe it’s time to take his picture off of your profile for sure!

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          • Not a chance MWD, my picture of jameis’s face is just a representation of me watching the bucs the last couple of years. Until he is gone, it stays.

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  9. Sooooooo, maybe it is talent…

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  10. Tanking for Tua already?

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    • I’d go with Fromm from Georgia

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  11. Well, what did Winston learn this off season with the QB whisperer, Bruce Arians? Well, whatever he learned went through one ear and out the other. He was in panic under pressure, and made critical mistakes throughout the game. Two INTs returned for TDs, the defense even if improved never had a chance.

    Unless Winston plays markedly better quickly, this season is going to be over before it gets too far in. This week was not a good indication at all. Mariotta however played well for the Titans. It is going to be interesting to see if Mariotta plays well and gets a contract renewal, and if Winston gets cut and has a hard time getting picked. Still a lot of football to play.

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  12. I’m an FSU homer. If Winston doesn’t start to look like a Pro Bowl QB under BA soon, then they need to just move on. He looked horrible! We also need pass rushers and an O-line! On the positive side, Jones looked great and Suh is an upgrade from GMC.

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    Rating: +12. From 12 votes.
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  13. Wow, wow & wow. The QB Whisperer has turned the “Gun Slinger” into an indecisive, deer in the headlights QB, who appears to have no confidence, plays to not screw up (of course naturally, nothing could make you screw up more). Can” blame it on the D-Line, only a QB who has absolutely, positively, no clue as to his identity. Jones looked very good, Barber is he who he is “110% Every Play), i.e., 2.5 yards and a cloud of dust with the occasional 4 yard burst to boost the average. Leftowich surprisingly looked like a first time OC, Run, Pass, Run, Pass, what happens I can always say “I was balanced”. BA taking points off the board to try for a touchdown which everyone in the stadium and at home knew was going to get stuffed at best. Good news, Winston could have had a half dozen picks and didn’t. Could have had at least 3 fumbles more than showed. Defense looked good until good ole Bunting got in the game. So disappointing. Wake me up after London – don’t even start talking about tanking for a QB, Tampa is the ultimate grave for QBs and the best in the league couldn’t do anything. Agree with those who predict Golfcart Bruce will hang it up once the Bucs go 2-14 and Allen will be out the door with him. Purely, purely, disgusting. Of course since starts only get 7-10 reps in the pre-season so their panties don’t get damp, you don’t know until they strap it on (with a liner of course) and it has made it totally impossible to teach what isn’t even part of the college flag game.

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    Rating: +4. From 6 votes.
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    • Meaning the lost art of tackling and blocking.

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  14. James was paid 1,312,000 dollars for that game, How that dunce cap fit Byron Glazer

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    Rating: +2. From 4 votes.
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    • Again, Bozo Ass Bum – the 16th to 18th paid QB in the league, did he earn a check no. Will 16 QBs per week earn a check “NO!!!”. Once Patrick gets his 40 million and eats up 25% of the Cap, the league will be in even worse shape. Time to limit “ALL PLAYERS” irrespective of position to a maximum of 10% of the Cap, pro-rated, averaged, one time, etc. For NFL players who out-number QBs 21 fold per starter, where are your gonads when it comes to collective bargaining!

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      • How many other starting quarterbacks had a passer rating of only 45 this week? Along with two fumbles?

        I think that the answer is, zero.

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        • Wrong Naples Fan. Ryan Fitzpatrick started for Miami, and turned in a QBR of 37.1. In that respect, even if by a tiny amount, the Bucs upgraded. 🙂

          https://www.espn.com/nfl/player/gamelog/_/id/8664/ryan-fitzpatrick

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  15. This was worse than any game I saw from a Dirk Koetter led team that I can remember. Winston is just an idiot. This game is to too big for him. I’ve seen enough. He is who he is.

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  16. Season is over folks. We’re about to be 0 and 2 Thursday

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  17. How bad is this football team? Let me count the ways (my apologies to Bill Shakespeare): The OL sucks; the QB is a turnover machine; run game sucks; OJ Howard sucks; the defense is average at best, punt team sucks, kicker is okay. Its bad when your FG kick is the team’s best player. Coaching-game plan sucked. Fans suck for going or watching or listening.
    Here is what REALLY SUCKS: BAB was right all along-GRRRR!!
    And I suck for even writing this!
    I’ll be back after the bye week.

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  18. The NFL should avoid all QB’s coached by Jimbo Fisher. Jamarcus Russell, Christian Ponder, EJ Manuel, and Jameis Winston are all 1s Round busts that were supposed to be Pro Ready.

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  19. Our best Q.B has never taken a regular season snap in a game, Ryan Griffin. I’m happy at least Fitz didn’t light it up today, or there would be real hell to pay. Gabbart will replace Jameis as soon as he is healthy. The good news, we need some. We’ll have plenty of cap space next year not having to pay Jameis, and Rojo looked like he earned himself a starting job. He was one of the bright spots on a very grim day.

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    Rating: +3. From 3 votes.
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    • Who says Gabbart is going to be anything but a backup; past history as a starting quarterback wasn’t impressive.
      I am far from ready from blowing this team up without giving them a few games to try to fix things.

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  20. Like I’ve been saying for years…it’s the talent, not the coaching. Winston sucks, still turns the ball over too much but that’s nothing new. Some of you are disappointed in him because you thought it was the coaching even though he was doing the same thing in college. The run defense was good and RoJo looked better, but the secondary and LB’s are still not good enough. The only looked okay today despite the 49ers having nothing on offense. Licht and the Glazers have probably already secretly extended Winston for 10 years so the future looks bleak for this team.

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    • It is really hard to tell now good our defense really is based upon this game. Yes, they held the 49ers offense to just 17 points playing at home .. but … it’s the 49ers, not the Saints or the Panthers or the Rams. Certainly Garrapolo didn’t look sharp at all after a full year layoff, and there are no established stars on the 49ers offense, unlike their defense which has a few.

      A much better test is Thursday on the road against the Panthers. If the Bucs defense holds up well against their offense on the road, including a very dangerous McCaffery, then that’ll be saying something.

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  21. Ugh Jameis looked like crap. The offensive line looked like crap. Jameis needs to get his head out of his ass or he wont be playing. Ronald jones was a very right spot for us today amd I thought the defense played more than good enough to win.
    Devon white played ok but wasn’t a huge factor. You could tell big mike was still sick and just wasn’t himself out there. And after watching our game and the carolina game, suh is a vastly superior player to McCoy right now. But it all hinges on Jameis getting his head on straight. If not ,well be drafting a qb next year.

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  22. Well were to start.Our QB is hopeless. Poor decision making by BA on not kicking the field goal that would have put us 3 down and on our next drive tied the game at 20. Coach this team is not good enough to give up sure points like that passed up field goal opportunity.Poor adjustments by our defensive coordinator by not taking the tight end away. Hell we weren’t putting pressure on the QB so why not double cover their TE. Our 1st rd pick looked like a deer in the head lights, he missed so many tackles I quit counting. Kudos to Jones Jr who looked like our new starting RB, same to Cam Brate for well being a dependable receiver. Why is MJ Stewart playing corner, he will make a better LB or Safety in the box. I really dont know how much more I can take of this ineptitude from grown men. I watched Alex Cappa extensively and think I know why it is he is doing wrong when he is beat on a play, he needs to bend at the knees and basically sit down and anchor. He is standing to tall like he is still playing Tackle in college.This could be occurring because he is tired in which case he needs to get in better shape, or its just being lazy.

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  23. This Season can be saved if Bucs are willing to make a change at QB right now. Griffin has proven his ability, don’t let this season go down the tubes because of stubbornness. ROJO looks good. The Defense played okay. with a few little things that will need to be tweaked. But Winston as much as I love the guy had a horrible game. He had some help, but a lot of it is on him. Licht’s and BA’s future is on the line.

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  24. SOBs.

    Sure, it’s just one game … but this was one of the few games in the season that the oddsmakers had Tampa Bay as a slight favorite, playing at home in the season opener against one of the worst teams in the league last season that hadn’t won a road game in a very long time.

    It gets harder from here. Starting Thursday on the road against Carolina who didn’t look too bad against the defending NFC champion today.

    There were lots of things wrong, from coaching errors to offense-killing penalties to numerous fumbles and INTs including two PickSixes. Winston occasionally made some plays, just as he always has in his NFL career, but then blew way too many more plays .. again, as usual in his NFL career. But in total, his passer rating of 45 and two fumbles including a strip-sack/fumble plus three INTs, two of which were PickSixes were literally the margin in the game against the Bucs. More than anyone else, Winston lost this game for the Bucs.

    I watched part of the Miami game today, and thought, “wow, those Miami fans have literally nothing to look forward to except the draft already.” The Bucs aren’t quite there yet, but it is not difficult to imagine the Bucs fighting it out for last place in the league and first place in the draft unless we play a whole lot better against the rest of our schedule … which unfortunately is filled with far better teams than the 49ers who whipped Bucs ass today.

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  25. Well, my thought is that the Defense has improved a lot and kept us in the game. On the other hand, Winston worries me, he seems to have not learned or progressed. Is all the same, he single handily lost this game with his poor decisions. If he continues like this, I don’t see him finishing the season.

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  26. Well shit. No 16-0 dream season for the Bucs this year. Take a deep breath because…

    There are 15 games to go. This was simply the first game. Coaches who have been named “Coach of the Year” twice know how to improve their teams each week. The story for any 0-1 team isn’t written. So Jameis had a slow start and when he finally got in a rhythm Dot was flagged a lot for holding. His penalties erased two Brate touchdown passes from Jameis. Also, did Jameis suffer a mild concussion from the helmet to helmet shot he took? He might have.

    Bucs lost today but what about the rest of the division? Atlanta lost. Carolina lost. New Orleans could easily lose to Houston tomorrow.

    Review the tape, make adjustments, and get ready to lay the wood on a division opponent on Thursday night.

    GO BUCS!!!!

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  27. Got straight up heckled and laughed out of the bar I was at today. Pretty standard. I don’t know why every season I feel like this might be our year. I just want to Fucking win dammit. I thought maybe with BA but nope. James Winston is a laughing stock. 9er fans were high fiving “this is what Jameis does” at the end after he threw multiple picks. I’ll keep watching but I’m no longer a believer. Embarrassing loss. Awful opener

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  28. The jury is in. Winston is not going to take the next step. He will not become and elite QB. Bringing in Griffin is not an absurd idea at this point.

    While I concede the debate to the naysayers my support for the Buccaneers is not diminished.

    The challenge for Bruce Allen and staff is real.
    __________________
    Go Bucs!!!

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    • Bruce Arians that is…..

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