Even without the added exposure of "Hard Knocks," the Buccaneers have generated quite a bit of buzz heading into the 2017 season.
The NFL got its first look at how Jameis Winston would work with his newest weapons Friday night, and the results were impressive. Though the Bucs failed to find the end zone during Winston's stint on the field in a 23-12 loss to the Bengals, he wasted no time in returning to the comfort of Mike Evans while also working the Tampa Bay newcomers into the mix.
— Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@TBBuccaneers) August 11, 2017
Winston's first two passes went Evans' way, resulting in completions of 11 and 29 yards. The third-year QB completed five of his first six passes on an opening drive that stalled at the 2-yard line, and his first pass of the Bucs' second drive went to DeSean Jackson.
All told, Winston went 9 of 13 for 99 yards during his two series and looked like the best QB in a game that also featured Andy Dalton and the sought-after AJ McCarron in addition to Winston's backup Ryan Fitzpatrick.
Once he gets more reps with Jackson and finds a way to work rookie O.J. Howard into the mix, the Bucs could make some noise in the NFC South.
— Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes went deep for a 41-yard completion on his first NFL preseason snap, but it was called back on a holding penalty. Fear not, the Texas Tech product had plenty of time left to showcase his remarkable skill set in his pro debut. He ended up completing 7 of 9 passes for 49 yards and a touchdown.
— NFL (@NFL) August 12, 2017
— Not to be outdone by Mahomes, San Francisco's C.J. Beathard connected on a 46-yard touchdown pass to undrafted free agent Kendrick Bourne, then followed it up by finding Bourne for the game-tying two-point conversion. The Iowa product later added a go-ahead TD pass to Tyler McCloskey.
— T.J. Watt got everyone's attention in his preseason debut, making a pair of sacks in quick succession as the Steelers handled the Giants.
— JJ Watt (@JJWatt) August 11, 2017
— Steelers QB Josh Dobbs had a rough go of it against the Giants, completing 8 of 15 passes for 100 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions. The fourth-round pick also was sacked three times.
— Joe Mixon was solid in his Bengals debut, rushing six times for 31 yards Friday in relief of Jeremy Hill. He also caught the one pass thrown his way for an 11-yard gain.
— Steelers rookie receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster was diagnosed with a concussion after leaving his first NFL preseason game in the first quarter.
— Giants safety Duke Ihenacho left the game in the first half with a hamstring injury.
— Buccaneers quarterback Ryan Griffin left Tampa Bay's game against the Bengals in the fourth quarter with a shoulder injury.
— Tampa Bay running back Russell Hansbrough was being evaluated for a concussion.
— San Francisco wideout Aaron Burbridge left the game against the Chiefs with a hamstring injury.
Odell Beckham Jr. might have made the play of the night — in pregame warmups.
— NFL (@NFL) August 11, 2017
Bengals QB Jeff Driskell completed 8 of 9 passes Friday, including a touchdown toss, but his most impressive work came on the ground.
— NFL (@NFL) August 12, 2017
NFL preseason scores Week 1
Panthers 27, Texans 17
Dolphins 23, Falcons 20
Vikings 17, Bills 10
Ravens 23, Redskins 3
Jaguars 31, Patriots 24
Packers 24, Eagles 9
Browns 20, Saints 14
Broncos 24, Bears 17
Steelers 20, Giants 12
Bengals 23, Buccaneers 12
49ers 27, Chiefs 17
Saturday’s games (All times Eastern)
Titans at Jets, 7:30 p.m.
Cowboys at Rams 9 p.m. (NFL Network)
Raiders at Cardinals, 10 p.m.
Lions at Colts, 1:30 p.m. (NFL Network)
Seahawks at Chargers, 8 p.m. (NFL Network)