Pewter Linings: Positives for Bucs despite Week 1 loss

Luke Easterling

You are what your record says you are, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are winless after one week of the 2019 NFL regular season.

But even though Sunday's Week 1 loss to the San Francisco 49ers wasn't the start Tampa Bay wanted for their season, they still showed some flashes that should have fans excited for the possibilities the rest of the way.

Here are three positives the Bucs can take away from Sunday's 31-17 home loss:

There you are, RoJo

After a dismal rookie season, running back Ronald Jones II played the best game of his career to kick off his sophomore campaign. The former USC star and second-round draft pick rushed for 75 yards on 13 carries, averaging nearly six yards per attempt against a 49ers defensive line that featured five former first-round picks.

New-look defense

After struggling mightily in recent years, the Tampa Bay defense gave fans plenty to cheer about Sunday afternoon. Punctuated by a pick-six from Vernon Hargreaves III that gave Tampa Bay an unfortunately short-lived lead at halftime, the Bucs stifled the 49ers offense for much of the game, holding them to just 256 yards of total offense.

No missed kicks

Sure, it was only a pair of extra points and a chip-shot field goal that didn't count, but Bucs fans will take what they can get when it comes to reliable kicking. Rookie fifth-round pick Matt Gay beat out veteran Cairo Santos for the job in the preseason, and he proved effective Sunday, even in limited work. 


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