Baker Mayfield Gets Brutally Honest About Bucs’ Offense After Week 1 Upset

Baker Mayfield

Baker Mayfield led the Buccaneers to a 20-17 comeback on Sunday.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Baker Mayfield put behind a dismal start that fit the national narrative only to flip the script in a 20-17 comeback win over the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday, September 10.

That doesn’t mean he’s happy about everything despite proving the Bucs won’t sink without Tom Brady — at least for one week.

“Offensively, we have a long way to go, but we’ll take all the wins we can get,” Mayfield told reporters on Sunday. “It’s extremely hard in this league.”

Mayfield and the Bucs mustered only 23 yards of total offense partway into the second quarter before things clicked amid a 10-3 deficit. The Bucs simply struggled with the Vikings’ blitzes and the crowd noise at US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.

“Great environment, like we expected. Really loud and like we talked about being ready for their blitz package. We were, but every time we checked, they would [blitz], and … that’s kind of the story you saw in the first half,” Mayfield said.

“Just playing against [defensive coordinator] Brian Flores, … it’s quite the challenge. He’s a defensive mastermind, so it was a good test for us for our first match,” Mayfield added. “We’re gonna grow, we’re gonna get better.”

Bucs Won ‘Chess Match’ From Late 2nd Quarter Onward

Things finally got better for the Bucs when Mayfield threw a  28-yard touchdown strike to star wide receiver Mike Evans to tie the game 10-10 with 1:09 left in the first half. Evans otherwise had a quiet start in the first half, but he finished with six catches for 66 yards and a touchdown.

“Kind of a chess match at that point, but luckily we were able to drive the ball a little bit in kind of a two-minute hurry-up situation before the half and got Mike a touchdown and capitalize from there,” Mayfield said.

Momentum continued for Mayfield in the second half as he went 15-19 for 110 yards and a touchdown. Mayfield credited “pushing tempo” as the biggest reason for the turnaround as the Bucs outscored the Vikings 17-7 after trailing 7-3.

A free agent signee in March after a topsy-turvy 2022, Mayfield finished with 21-34 passing for 173 yards and two touchdowns for a 94.4 quarterback rating. Mayfield also utilized his mobility with eight rushes for 11 yards, and he only took one sack.

Baker Mayfield: ‘We Finished the Right Way’

The Bucs scored on two of their first three drives in the second half, which included Mayfield’s 7-yard touchdown to rookie wide receiver Trey Palmer and Chase McLaughlin‘s 57-yard field goal.  Star wide receiver Chris Godwin capped Mayfield’s efforts with a game-sealing 11-yard catch in the final two minutes of the game.

“That last play Chris caught that ball with just his fingertips — incredible catch by him [and] sealed the deal,” Mayfield said.

The Bucs converted on a third down at the most critical point of the game with Godwin’s catch — something the team couldn’t do in the early going. Tampa Bay consequently finished 6-17 on third downs, one of many areas that will need to get cleaned up in time for a Week 2 against the Chicago Bears on September 17.

“It wasn’t our prettiest effort by any means, but we finished the right way,” Mayfield added. “We finished with the ball in our hands, and we talked about that coming here.”

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carl b
carl b
12 days ago

What he just wrote was are superbowl year with Brady. We played the Saints first game, they were not in a rhythm like later on. NFL OFFENSES needs time to learn about each player and how they play! But we had a knock out Defense, except for the secondary!