The Tampa Bay Buccaneers were able to pull off an impressive victory in Week 1. They went on the road and pulled off an upset over the Minnesota Vikings, winning 20-17 to get the Baker Mayfield era started off on the right foot.
A big reason for that victory was that the offense was able to chew up the clock and put points on the board in the second half. The Buccaneers scored a touchdown on their opening drive of the third quarter, taking up nearly nine minutes to do so.
After punting on their second drive, another lengthy scoring drive was put together. The Buccaneers had the ball for 4:46, running 10 plays as Mayfield put the team in position for a go-ahead and game-winning field goal of 57-yards from Caleb McLaughlin.
How were the Buccaneers able to find success against Minnesota in the second half? Mayfield is responsible for that as well, as he decoded the signals that the Vikings were using defensively.
According to running back Rachaad White, Mayfield shared the news at halftime with his team. He figured out the signals that Minnesota was using, making it easy to adjust the offense’s play call accordingly.
White shared that Mayfield told them, “‘I got it. We got all these signals.’ We in there talking as an offense. He’s like, ‘I know all these signals. If they do this, they going to Cover 2, they do this, they’re going to Cover 3. Every time I alert this, they drop and they do this signal, they drop him back to this.’ And I’m like, ‘Wow, that’s amazing.’ I mean, I know certain coverages, but I don’t know a lot like that.”
That is certainly an impressive feat as teams spend a ton of time preparing to ensure nothing like that occurs. Mayfield’s ability to decipher everything the Vikings were doing pre-snap was a big part of the Buccaneers leaving Minnesota with a victory.
Mayfield finished his debut with the team 21-of-34 for 173 yards and two touchdowns. While not the prettiest stat line, he helped the Buccaneers get a win, which is the only stat that matters at the end of the day.