There have been a lot of surprising developments to start the 2023 NFL campaign, but arguably the biggest of the bunch is the fact that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have started the season off with a 2-0 record. Baker Mayfield has looked great through his first two games with the Bucs, but he may owe a big piece of his success to his offensive line, which is being led by star tackle Tristan Wirfs.
Throughout the first three seasons of his career, Wirfs established himself as arguably the best right tackle in the NFL, earning a pair of Pro Bowl and All-Pro selections, in addition to a Super Bowl championship in 2020. But in 2023, Wirfs made the switch over to left tackle, and has been even better than he was at right tackle. Through two games, Wirfs has played 75 pass-blocking snaps, and has only allowed Mayfield to get pressured twice in that small sample.
Tristan Wirfs has been DOMINANT since moving to left tackle 💪 pic.twitter.com/SagSU5tsnM
— PFF (@PFF) September 21, 2023
Mayfield has only been sacked once through two games, and it wasn't because of Wirfs. The talented tackle is barely letting opposing defenders get a whiff of Mayfield, as he hasn't allowed any quarterback hits or sacks. We already knew that Wirfs was good, but he's taking his game to another level to begin the 2023 season.
The Buccaneers will certainly face tougher defenses than the ones that the Minnesota Vikings and Chicago Bears have to offer, but it's great to see that Wirfs' move from one side of the offensive line to the other is paying dividends already. If Tristan Wirfs and company can continue to limit the pressure that Mayfield faces on a week-to-week basis, the Buccaneers could continue their winning ways early on in the season.