Buccaneers Heading to Minneapolis for Week 1 Matchup vs. Vikings

The 2023 NFL season is officially underway this Sunday, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are set to face the Minnesota Vikings in U.S. Bank Stadium at 1 p.m. to open their season.

2022 Flashback

The Bucs are coming off an 8-9 season where, despite finishing below .500, they were able to win the NFC South.

The Vikings, on the other hand, finished with an impressive 13-4 record en-route to clinching the NFC North.

Both teams made a brief appearance in the 2022 playoffs, getting knocked out in the wildcard round.

Quarterback Preview

The Buccaneers were led by future Hall of Famer Tom Brady for the first three seasons before this and won a Super Bowl in 2021.

Since Brady’s retirement, the Buccaneers have been stymie at the quarterback position.

Now, post-Brady, Tampa Bay will send out veteran quarterback Baker Mayfield to begin the 2023 season. Mayfield, 28, once a promising star, was inked to a one year, $8.5 million dollar contract this offseason. Mayfield started six games last year with the Carolina Panthers prior to being released and eventually signed with the Los Angeles Rams. It was nothing short of a down year for Mayfield who bounced around from team to team and ultimately had short stints with both teams. It’s a new year for Mayfield and it’s a new opportunity for the Buccaneers at quarterback.

Star-studded Core

Meanwhile, the Vikings have star-studded wide receiver in Justin Jefferson at their disposal, who has emerged to be one of the best, if not the best, receivers in football. 35-year old Kirk Cousins will suit up for another season with the Vikings before becoming a free agent, unless the Vikings can strike a deal to retain him.

It seemed like in 2021 the Vikings were slowly establishing a foundation, but in 2022 it was a huge steeping stone and progressed immensely.

Now, in 2023, expectations are likely high within the organization to build off of last year’s regular-season success, especially after retaining wide receiver K.J. Osborn and tight tend T.J. Hockenson.

This offseason, the Vikings emphasized on improving their defense with experienced players as well. The Vikings signed Bryon Murphy Jr., Marcus Davenport and Dean Lowry.

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Week 1 Odds

For the Buccaneers, they’re hoping to piece it together this year while in the process of experimenting at quarterback.

The Vikings will be looking to secure back-to-back playoff appearances after a busy offseason to improve on both sides of the ball.

At the moment, the projections are leaning heavily towards the Vikings with 67.1% chance to win this game via ESPN analytics.

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