Built To Beat The Vikings On Opening Day

May 14th, 2023

“Jamel, fire up the film now. And watch how Carlton played him, too.”

Joe feels very good about the Bucs opening the season against Minnesota in 119 short days for one primary reason.

The Vikings only lost five games last season, including postseason. They were damn good, but they largely stunk when their opponent derailed All-Pro receiver Justin Jefferson.

In four of the Vikings’ five losses (Eagles, Dallas, Green Bay, Giants), Jefferson totaled just 17 catches for 143 yards and zero touchdowns. Overall, the Vikings were 4-4 when Jefferson was held to under 100 yards receiving in a game last season.

Enter the Buccaneers’ massive-money cornerbacks, Jamel Dean and Carlton Davis, plus Pro Bowl safety Antoine Winfield and defensive mastermind Todd Bowles.

Is there any reason Bowles, with all that time to prepare, can’t craft a plan to keep Jefferson in check?

Everyone should be healthy in Week 1. And Dean is the same size as Jefferson but with more speed and explosiveness (if you’re counting NFL Scouting Combine measurables).

Prefer Davis against Jefferson? Joe’s good with that, considering Jefferson had one of the worst games of his standout rookie season when he faced Davis and the Bucs in December of 2020.

Yeah, Joe knows there’s a lot more to winning than shutting down an All-Pro receiver. But when it comes to the Vikings, it’s a huge factor, one certainly in the Bucs’ grasp.

31 Responses to “Built To Beat The Vikings On Opening Day”

  1. Elita Vita Says:

    Yay….we are going to be Viking Ready!

  2. Bucnut2 Says:

    Please send me some of what Joe is smoking!! How can you feel good about ANY game this year. Heres what we know. At best we have a journeyman QB, a rebuilt offensive line, no pass rush and a suspect coaching staff. The phrase” other than that Mrs. Lincoln how was the play?”

  3. Bucnut2 Says:

    Comes to mind

  4. Buc4evr Says:

    Give me a break, the Bucs don’t even know who their starting QB is at this point. This team isn’t built to beat anyone yet and the Viking game could end up being a huge embarrassment for Bowles. Not very optimistic.

  5. Trask To The Future Says:

    There’s more to football than just slowing down their top WR. Way too many question marks with the Bucs to think they’ll beat anyone let alone a decent playoff team.

  6. Infomeplease Says:

    Yes, the Bucs need to shut down Jefferson! They also have to stop the run!! The defense couldn’t get off the field last year! This year? We’ll see!!

  7. Rod Munch Says:

    The last time the Bucs played in Minnesota, you had VH3, Ryan Smith and Chris Conte patrolling the secondary. How can you not feel good compared to that?

  8. Fred McNeil Says:

    Good news is the vikes have traded ZaDarius Smith, who had 10 sacks and 15 TFLs last year to…bad news…the Eagles. I don’t expect to beat the Eagles anyway.

    Dalvin Cook is likely a June 1st trade.

    Don’t bump Logan Hall onto our corners’ legs and we’ve got a good chance to win.
    BTW, Joe, thax for sharing that stuff you’re smokin. I’m taking Bucs 28-20.

  9. Lakeland Steve Says:

    Maybe if we only played defense we could start counting wins, but our offense better be able to put the ball in the end zone on a consistent basis if we are going to win games. The first game of the season our offense may still be a work in progress so it may be a little early to start putting games in the win column. I like the positive thinking though.

  10. Jack Burton Mercer Says:

    Vikings are beatable Nd we have just the guys to do it. 17-0.

  11. Bucsfan13 Says:

    It’s hard to made proclamations so early. I’m prepared for a major injury before the regular season. At least we have better depth at the OL position this year. I’m worried about our WR depth. The possible good thing is that our new offensive philosophy isn’t WR driven, as it was with Leftwich and BA. This hasn’t been mentioned, but Jensen is older and coming off a major knee injury. It was very strange that he didn’t get his knee surgically repaired. He wasn’t very good in the last game, which was expected. We missed Jensen’s leadership on the line. The offensive line was Charmin soft last year. Just a bunch of Betas.

  12. Goatfarmer Says:

    No sweat. Bowels will just call his Cooper Kupp coverage and Jefferson will have three TDs and 210 yards as the Viqueens drop the 40 burger on the Bloweszo.

  13. Ed Says:

    Maybe they will shut down the Vikings like they did Dallas in the playoffs last year. Oh, wait, that didn’t work out so well did it?

    The Bucs defense has been decent at times, but not consistently great since the Super Bowl run of 2020. In addition to Jefferson, the Vikes also have a great receiving TE, and a 1st round pick at WR who should contribute right away. The only chance the Bucs have to shut down Minn is to get consistent pressure on Cousins.

    Good news is for the Bucs is that the Vikes defense was horrible last year, and they have lost several starters from last season. So if whoever the Bucs have at QB gets hot, they could easily win.

    Disclaimer: I live in MN, and am a Vikings fan. I also was a lifelong Brady fan and became a Bucs fan when he came to Tampa. So I have mixed feelings about this game.

  14. OrlandoBucFan Says:

    Okay, this must be Steve. I get the logic, but there are a lot of “ifs” factored into the equation. I am a glass is half full type of dude, so I am going to go with the notion that we can beat the Vikings because I am a Bucs fan and, at this time, anything is possible. If we’re playing with house money, my bet is on the Bucs.

  15. NYbucsfan Says:

    Yeah, we also have the worst head coaching in the NFL. That doesn’t help our odds.

  16. #99 the Big fella Says:

    There is goatfarmer pulling his head out of the sand.. we missed your daily spew about Bowles. So glad you could join us

  17. William Walls Says:

    I understand tempering expectations. As Bucs fans, that’s just wisdom. But man have we got a flock of Chicken Littles on this site. It’s not as if last year’s offense is a valid baseline for how our offense will perform this year. No one knows if Canales is ready for the OC hat, but I feel pretty confident that what he puts together will be much harder to defend than whatever last year’s offense was, maybe even better than No Riskit, No Biscuit. The league catches on, you know, and Canales comes from a strong offensive lineage. How about we let the guy get halfway through his first season before sounding the Fog Horn of Doom?

  18. Goatfarmer Says:

    99fathead —. I only use one handle dinkus, although I appreciate your obsession with Bowels negativity and your certainty that every well deserved Bloweszo negative is from me. But my work has only begun, and the number of Bloweszo posts are growing and going in the same direction as his failed head coiching “career.”

  19. garro Says:

    I really don’t think the Vikes are as good as their record might indicate.
    But never underestimate Bowles Ability to play down to the level of his opponent.

  20. Saskbucs Says:

    Vikings were the worst 11 win team in the history of football last year. Paper tigers, smoked by Daniel Jones and *checks notes*… isiah hodgins? New year, Bucs aren’t expected to win much, but I’ll take the points vs Cousins on Sept.10.

  21. Goatfarmer Says:

    Viqueens 41

    Bowels 12

  22. ModHairKen Says:

    Defensive mastermind? Rams playoff game in 2021. Was that a mastermind? And I am not even talking about CUPP. I’m talking about the first half.

  23. Goatfarmer Says:

    Ken – I was finally about to get the toaster away from the full bathtub but after reading your post I’m reconsidering. Hammer meets nail.

  24. Goatfarmer Says:

    Although the last 40 seconds should have gotten him fired instead of ultimately promoted.

  25. R0n@Tampa Says:

    I love our chances next year. 14-3 and a SB anything can happen. We have the talent. Whether it is Mayfield or Trask either or both can lead that talent into a end of year celebration.

  26. bucschamp Says:

    1-0 excellent already

  27. #99 the Big fella Says:

    Goat the more you post the more I will come after you with the same..

  28. Allbuccedup Says:


  29. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    It is gonna be very simple. If we can apply pressure to their Quarterback, we can win. He is known for making mistakes under pressure.

  30. unbelievable Says:

    Is there any reason Bowles, with all that time to prepare, can’t craft a plan to keep Jefferson in check?

    Depends if he can generate a pass rush or not, IMO…

  31. #99 the Big fella Says:

    Lol Goathumper ..you mistake the name big fella as a fat guy you truly are cranky old man .you are a troll . I will keep coming after you until Joe gets rid of one of us