What We Saw: Week 1

The What We Saw team recaps everything you missed from this week's action


Final Score: Buccaneers 20, Vikings 17

Writer: Brennan Rampe (@phdinnfl on Twitter)


The crowd at U.S. Bank Stadium was fired up entering this game after the Vikings went 13-4 and won the NFC North last season. By the end of the game, everyone at the stadium was sitting in disbelief.  The Buccaneers, led by Baker Mayfield, were doubted by all the analysts. Their offense made plays when it mattered and the defense forced three turnovers in the first half that ended up costing Minnesota the game. They also got lucky with an offsides penalty on a field goal attempt, which led to a touchdown. Minnesota’s mistakes are why they are 0-1, and Tampa Bay pulled off the upset and are 1-0 for the third consecutive season. As a Vikings fan, I sense a long season incoming that will result in a losing record.

Two Up

  • Baker Mayfield – Threw two touchdown passes, and overcame a tough road environment.
  • Justin Jefferson – Finished with over 100 yards as usual. He’ll be a beast in fantasy once again this year.

Two Down

  • Kirk Cousins – Had three turnovers in the first half, two fumbles and a interception. Went three-and-out with the game on the line. He single-handedly lost the game for Minnesota.
  • Vikings offensive line – Looks like it will be an issue again. Cousins was pressured and hit a lot during this game, like he was all of last year.


Tampa Bay Buccaneers





Baker Mayfield: 21/34, 173 Yards, 2 TD | 8 Carries, 11 Yards


Baker Mayfield and the rest of the offense looked lost in the first half, but he eventually settled in. He put the team on his back, as he had no help from the running game all day long. He didn’t connect with Mike Evans that much in the first quarter, but after that they started to develop chemistry. He connected with him on a touchdown in the second quarter. He came in clutch when the team needed a game-winning drive in the fourth quarter, unlike the guy taking snaps on the other team. He should settle in more in the upcoming weeks and maybe he can make Tampa bay his home. The offensive line will have to be better, as they struggled to create running lanes and gave up some pressures.


  • More elusive than I remembered. Was able to evade sacks multiple times.

Missed Opportunities

  • Missed a wide open Ko Kieft for a touchdown in the second quarter.
  • Threw a pass that was on the hands of Mike Evans, who couldn’t hold on for what would’ve been a second touchdown in the third quarter. That would’ve given Evans another score that would’ve given him more fantasy points on the day.


Running Back


Rachaad White: 17 Carries, 39 Yards | 2 Targets, 2 Receptions, 10 Yards


Rachaad White got nearly all of the carries today, but the rushing problems from last year continued.  The offensive line just didn’t create any room for White despite his 17 carries. He had two receptions, but he’s more of a runner than a receiving back. He had no highlight-worthy plays, much like Tampa Bay’s running back room all of last year.


Sean Tucker: 5 Carries, 15 Yards | 2 Targets, 2 Receptions, 9 Yards

Chase Edmonds: 2 Carries, 8 Yards


Wide Receiver/Tight End


Mike Evans: 10 Targets, 6 Receptions, 66 Yards, TD


Mike Evans was looking for a new contract before the season started, but he’s scheduled to be a free agent next offseason. He’s had 1,000 receiving yards in every year of his career, and he’s off to a good start. It took some time to develop chemistry with Baker Mayfield, but they started to connect with each other as the game went along. He caught a touchdown in the second quarter and blew past Vikings defenders. As the season progresses, this duo should get more comfortable with each other.




  • Always gets open regardless of who the quarterback is.

Missed Opportunities

  • Dropped a pass for what would’ve been a second touchdown. It hit him in the hands.


Chris Godwin: 6 Targets, 5 Receptions, 51 Yards


Chris Godwin had a nice day. He caught all but one of his six targets, and he had the game-winning catch. It’s been two years since he tore his ACL, so his explosiveness should be back. He and Mike Evans are still one of the best duos in the league.


Deven Thompkins: 3 Targets, 2 Receptions, 10 Yards


Trey Palmer: 3 Targets, 2 Receptions, 8 Yards, TD


The rookie caught his first touchdown after the frustrating offsides penalty on the field goal attempt. Need to see more out of him before he can be a comfortable fantasy option.


Cade Otton: 3 Targets, 2 Receptions, 19 Yards


Minnesota Vikings





Kirk Cousins: 33/44, 344 Yards, 2 TD, INT | 3 Carries, 7 Yards, 2 Fumble (Lost)


Kirk Cousins might have had a nice statistical day, but didn’t come through when it mattered. That’s just the story of his entire career. His chemistry with Justin Jefferson was as good as ever, but he wasn’t as comfortable with the other wide receivers and T.J. Hockenson. Cousins fumbled twice and threw an end-zone interception all in the first half. He also went three-and-out in crunch time when the offense needed to put points on the board. He is in the final year of his contract and I have a feeling the two sides will part ways after the season.


  • Pressured and hit frequently
  • Should be a good fantasy option if he can limit turnovers.

Missed Opportunities

  • Both fumbles prevented the team from scoring points.
  • The interception in the end zone was brutal.
  • He cost them the game with these turnovers.


Running Back


Alexander Mattison: 11 Carries, 34 Yards | 4 Targets, 3 Receptions, 10 Yards, TD


Alexander Mattison is the new RB1 in Minnesota, but he didn’t have an amazing game. It was to be expected though, as Tampa Bay’s run defense has been one of the best in the league for years now. He should have more success against other teams. He caught a touchdown that ended up tying the game at the time.



Ty Chandler: 3 Carries | 1 Target, 1 Reception, 18 Yards


Wide Receiver/Tight End


Justin Jefferson: 12 Targets, 9 Receptions, 150 Yards


Justin Jefferson caught most of his targets. He had over 100 yards in the first half! He didn’t do much in the second half, however. He had a lot of great runs after the catch. He didn’t find the end zone, but he picked up where he left off last year. He’s going to be a great fantasy player all season long.


Jordan Addison: 6 Targets, 4 Receptions, 61 Yards, TD


I was curious to see the rookie out of USC in his first game. He caught most of what was thrown his way. He scored his first touchdown on a deep pass thrown by Kirk Cousins. It was pretty awesome, and he should be more of a factor as he gets acclimated to life in the league. The touchdown accounted for most of his yards.



K.J. Osborn: 6 Targets, 3 Receptions, 31 Yards


He didn’t have a great game and Kirk Cousins overthrew him on a third down at one point. It would have extended a drive.


T.J. Hockenson: 9 Targets, 8 Receptions, 35 Yards


T.J. Hockenson hauled in most of what was thrown his way, but didn’t do much today. The constant pressure from the Buccaneers defensive line impacted Cousins and he didn’t have much time to throw. He transformed the offense last year, but it was a forgettable first game.


Josh Oliver: 3 Targets, 3 Receptions, 32 Yards

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