When the clock strikes 1:00 pm ET on Sunday, September 10, 2023, U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, MN will host a football spectacle. Both the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Minnesota Vikings are set to clash in what promises to be an exhilarating game, with each team carrying a rich legacy from the previous season. This face-off promises the drama, the thrill, and a hint of unpredictability.
The Buccaneers wrapped up the last season with a rather lackluster 8-9 overall record. Nevertheless, their performance in division games was noteworthy, achieving a 4-2 record. Home games saw a balanced outcome, with a 5-4 win-loss ratio, but road games proved a tad challenging, ending with a 3-5 record. On the statistical front, their offense managed a decent average of 18.4 points per game and covered 346.7 yards on an average. Conversely, the defense conceded 21.1 points and 324.3 yards each game. Tom Brady, the face of the franchise for years, accumulated a staggering 4694 passing yards. Meanwhile, Leonard Fournette clinched 668 rushing yards, and Mike Evans led the receiving department with 1124 yards.
Vikings: From Dominance to Transition
The Vikings' last season was marked by dominance, securing a formidable 13-4 overall record. Their performance in both division games and home matches was equally impressive, boasting a 4-2 and 8-1 record respectively. While the offense remained a force to reckon with, averaging 24.9 points and covering 361.5 yards per game, the defense had its share of troubles, conceding 25.1 points and a whopping 388.7 yards each game. Quarterback Kirk Cousins shone brightly with 4547 passing yards, while Dalvin Cook powered through with 1173 rushing yards. Justin Jefferson emerged as the standout receiver, amassing an impressive 1809 yards.
BUSR NFL Odds currently pegs the Buccaneers as a 6 point underdog, which seems a bit low. Last season, with Brady at the helm, the Bucs won their division despite their overall losing record. With Brady now retired and Baker Mayfield taking the mantle, the dynamics are set to shift. While the Bucs' offense has had its challenges, the transition from Brady might offer a fresh perspective.
On the flip side, the Vikings enjoyed a commendable run last season but faltered during playoffs. The recent departures, especially that of star running back Dalvin Cook, have raised concerns about their offensive potency this season and Alexander Mattison has been reported to be injured. The Buccaneers, under the tactical genius of Todd Bowles, possess a formidable defense that might just stymie the Vikings' attack. Despite the challenges, the Bucs still house considerable talent and with a rejuvenated quarterback in Mayfield, there's a newfound tenacity and drive to win. Hence, for those looking to bet, the Buccaneers covering the spread seems to be a plausible choice.
Team Health Update For the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, R. Jensen (C) is ruled out with a knee injury, and R. Gage (WR) is also on injured reserve due to a knee issue. There are concerns surrounding M. Evans (WR) and C. Kancey (DL) as both are questionable for Week 1, dealing with groin and calf injuries respectively. On the Vikings' side, A. Mattison (RB) remains a questionable entry for Week 1, while J. Lynch (DL) has been confirmed out with a knee injury. The situation is compounded with C. Reed (G) ruled out indefinitely due to a leg injury.