A wise person will tell you, that defense wins Championships. That’s been proven to be correct, but the offense is where the fun is! For a long time in soccer, teams adopted “the best kind of defense is offense” mentality. If we have the ball and are attacking you, then you are not scoring against us. This can make for entertaining games. During the 2018 FIFA world cup, there were 169 goals. The tournament record is 171, many are hailing it is one of the most exciting World Cups to date.
I’d much rather watch a game where both teams are going for the win, than where they are trying not to lose. Of course, this is a little different in American football, where you can essentially do both. It took me a long time to get in the defensive mindset and just as I did, Sunday happened.
Offense lights it up
I’m not a pessimist by any stretch, but I had the card marked as a Bucs loss vs the Saints. Very little happened to change my mind in the build-up. No sooner had I settled down to watch the game, we were behind. With Redzone on the other screen, I had a feeling I might be watching a little more Scott Hansen for the rest of the night. What happened next was everything I had hoped to see last year and had largely given up on seeing this year. Fitzmagic airs one out, D-Jax goes through the gears and the New Orleans safety is left with nothing but a despairing dive.
I don’t think I’m going out on a limb here to suggest that no one expected Ryan Fitzpatrick to perform anywhere near the level that he delivered. At 35 years old, his ‘best’ years were assumed to be behind him. Now we are all left to thinking, are we in the Indian Summer of Fitzpatrick’s career? Safe in the knowledge that unless injury strikes he has the jersey for the first three games, he played with a freedom and joy that must have made him feel like he was half his age.
Another thing you hear a lot in soccer is that your legs go before your head does. Fitz marched his way through the New Orleans defense time after time (after time). I wonder how stiff those legs were feeling on Monday morning.
Remember last year when everyone admired the loaded offense? Our biggest concern was how to get the ball to everyone, and ultimately, we didn’t. Touchdowns for Godwin, Evans, and Jackson showed that it can be done. There would have been one for the pocket rocket Humphries too if not for the penalty flag in his wake as he ran the length of the field.
There were times where we straight up bullied the Saints, a team Vegas has on the short list of Super Bowl contenders. Mike Evans leaving Lattimore flat on the ground as he marched in for his touchdown, may already be one of my favourite images of the year.
In a more than noteworthy supporting cast, Peyton Barber, Shaun Wilson, Jacquizz Rodgers, O.J Howard, and of course, Justin Evans all kept the wheels moving as the Bucs powered to a franchise equalling 48 points.
I expect the Saints to put up 40 on a number more occasions this year, I don’t expect many to surpass that when they play them. I wasn’t expecting a shootout, but I’m glad that we came with a loaded arsenal.
Keep the faith
If I’m watching a game where I don’t really care who wins, what I want is a game like last night. As a fan, it was tough to watch as New Orleans slowly start to close the gap. Deep down inside I’m thinking, “don’t mess this up”. I don’t imagine too many around the league would have been surprised if they had pulled off a famous victory.
Is this a new Bucs mentality? If it is, I like it. Same again please against the Eagles.
Be sure to check out all of the latest content from the excellent team of WTB writers, I’ll return with more words from the “outside” shortly.