MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. (WFLA) — The wait is finally over…Bucs football is BACK! On Sunday afternoon, newly named QB1 Baker Mayfield will lead the Tampa Bay Buccaneers against Kirk Cousins and the Minnesota Vikings in the 2023 NFL season opener.
The Bucs have seen a lot of change during the offseason, with a roster full of rookies, a new offensive coordinator calling the plays and contract discussions looming in the air, but change is good, and Tampa Bay is ready.
During the preseason, fans got a look at how the Bucs defense has strengthened, which will be imperative for Sunday’s matchup and trying to stop the connection between quarterback Kirk Cousins and Vikings’ star wide receiver Justin Jefferson.
FINAL SCORE: Buccaneers 20 – Vikings 17
1:55: Mayfield knees to MIN 30 for a yard loss.
2:00: CHRIS GODWIN WITH THE CATCH! Mayfield passes short to Godwin for 11 yards.
3:52: White goes up the middle to TB 35 for 5 yards. Face Mask called on Minnesota.
4:03: Vikings’ Wright punts 58 yards to TB 14 – Thompkins returns the ball for 16 yards.
5:10: Cousins passes short left to Hockinson – 4-yard loss.
5:15: BUCS TAKE THE LEAD! McLaughlin knocks a 57-yard FG to put the Bucs up 20-17.
6:29: Mayfield passes short left to Evans for 6 yards.
7:09: Mayfield passes short to Chris Godwin for 16 yards.
7:50: Mayfield stiff arms to avoid being sacked and picks up 5 yards.
8:46: White goes up the middle for no gain. Tampa Bay challenged the short of the line to gain ruling – and the play was UPHELD. The ruling on the field stands, and the Bucs used their second timeout.
10:08: Cousins incomplete to Osborn.
11:34: Mayfield scrambles left for 3 yards before running out of bounds. Holding called on Bucs’ Hainsey – declined.
11:38: Mayfield’s pass is batted down by Vikings’ Phillips.
13:43: Next play, Mattison dodges tackles and scores a 4-yard TD. Bucs, Vikings tied up at 17-17.
14:23: Mattison goes up the middle, but gets pushed back 3 yards by Bucs’ Vita Vea.
14:27: Cousins incomplete to Osborn. Pass Interference on Bucs’ Izien.
14:53: Cousins scrambles left for 4-yards, edging near the end zone. Bucs’ linebacker Lavonte David was injured during the play.
15:00: Cousins starts of the fourth quarter with an incomplete pass to Mattison.
End of the 3rd Quarter: Buccaneers 17 – Vikings 10
0:52: False start called on Minnesota, right after the Bucs force and incomplete pass.
1:29: Cousins to Addison for 13 yards.
2:37: DOWN GOES COUSINS! Bucs’ Anthony Nelson gets the sack on Cousins for a 6-yard loss.
3:16: Cousins to Oliver for an 18-yard gain.
4:40: Cousins passes short right to Hockenson for 8 yards.
6:06: BUCS TOUCHDOWN!! Rookie Trey Palmer gets his first career touchdown. The extra point is good and the Bucs lead 17-10.
6:47: McLaughlin kicks a 31-yard FG and IT’S GOOD, but it was nullified by penalty. Offsides called on Minnesota – 5-yard penalty. Bucs get a chance to scare a TD.
8:18: Baker to Evans but the pass is incomplete – slipped through Evans’ hands.
10:56: Mayfield passes short left to Otton for 13 yards.
13:40: Mayfield goes to Evans for 11 yards.
15:00: Joseph kicks 65 yards from MIN 35 – touchback.
Bucs’ rookie Calijah Kancey is out for the remainder of the game with a calf injury.
End of the 2nd Quarter: Buccaneers 10 – Vikings 10
0:23: Cousins passes short intended for Osborn, but undrafted rookie Christian Izien had other plans. He intercepted the pass right at the end zone. A HUGE play for the kid.
0:53: Cousins returns the favor with a huge 42-yard pass to Jefferson.
1:14: MAYFIELD THROWS AND EVANS DELIVERS! Mayfield goes deep to Evans for a 28-yard TD. The FG is good and the Bucs tie it up 10-10.
1:18: Mayfield passes incomplete deep right to Thompkins.
3:32: Cousins goes to Osborn for 6 yards.
5:04: Camarda punts 59 yards to MIN 11 – Vikings return the ball for 3 yards.
5:43: After several missed opportunities to score a TD, the Vikings settle for a 25-yard FG to extend the lead 10-3.
7:08: Cousins goes to Josh Oliver for 13 yards.
7:43: Cousins connects with Jefferson for 22 yards as they near the end zone.
9:24: Cousins passed deep left to Osborn for 19 yards.
9:49: Delay of Game called on Tampa Bay – enforced at TB 25.
10:27: Mayfield scrambles right and picks up a yard before being pushed out of bounds.
10:31: Mayfield passes incomplete short left to Otton.
11:39: VIKINGS TD. Cousins went deep left to rookie Addison for a 39-yard TD. Minnesota pulls ahead 7-3.
13:32: Vikings’ Chandler picks up 2 yards. Bucs’ Devin White was injured during the play.
14:08: Cousins, Jefferson connect for their first big completion of the day with a gain of 25 yards.
14:21: Camarda punts 43 yards – Vikings return the ball for 15 yards. Holding called on Minnesota – enforced at MIN 27.
15:00: Bucs’ Rachaad White runs for 1 yard.
End of the 1st Quarter: Buccaneers 3 – Vikings 0
1:14: Vikings’ Wright punts 55 yards to TB 20 – Bucs’ Thompkins pushed out of bounds at TB 20 for no gain. Holding was called on Bucs rookie SirVocea Dennia – enforced at TB 20.
1:56: Cousins passes short right to Addison for no gain.
3:23: Camarda kicks 63 yards from TB 35 – Vikings’ Ty Chandler returns the ball 15 yards.
3:27: Bucs’ Chase McLaughlin kicks a 36-yard FG and IT’S GOOD! The Bucs are the first on the board with 3.
4:10: Vikings’ Danielle Hunter takes down Mayfield for a 4-yard loss.
5:04: WINFIELD JR. TURNOVER! Winfield sacked Cousins for a 9-yard loss. The ball was fumbled and recovered by Winfield. Bucs ball.
6:32: Mayfield passed short to Cade Otton for 14 yards, however, Otton lost the ball, and it was recovered by Bucs’ Trey Palmer. Minn. challenged the pass competition ruling – and the play was REVERSED – ruling the catch incomplete.
8:23: TURNOVER!! Cousins lost the ball and Bucs’ Joe Tryon-Shoyinka was there to recover it.
12:27: Cousins passes short right to Justin Jefferson for 8 yards.
14:04: Mayfield passes short to White for 2 yards. Holding called on Bucs’ Goedeke.
14:12: Baker Mayfield’s first pass in regular season is incomplete short at the line of scrimmage.
14:27: False start called on Minnesota – enforced at MIN 33.
14:32: INCOMPLETE. Bucs’ Antoine Winfield Jr. forces an incomplete pass from Cousins.
15:00: Bucs’ Jake Camarda punts 65 yards from TB 35 – touchback.