The 2021 NFL season schedule has begun coming out and will be released in full later on this evening. One of the games that have come out as an official scheduled game is the season-opening contest between the defending Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers facing off against the Dallas Cowboys. It may not be the most anticipated matchup of the season, but it is an intriguing game nonetheless.
Both teams are hoping to be serious contenders in the NFC this season. Many believe that the Buccaneers will be a Super Bowl contender once again in 2021 after they were able to keep practically their whole core together in the offseason. On the other hand, there are some who believe the Cowboys will be a contender and will win the NFC East and others who think they’ll miss the playoffs.
No matter where you stand on the Cowboys, they are sure to be a much better team this season than they were last year.
Dak Prescott is back and ready to get back to dominating for the Cowboys with a high-powered offense around him. The wide receiver trio of Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup, and CeeDee Lamb will once again be very difficult for opposing defenses to defend and should put up major numbers across the board. Defensively, Dallas went out and brought in three impact players this offseason in Keanu Neal, Micah Parsons, and Kelvin Joseph, which should improve them.
As for the Buccaneers, they were able to retain all of their key free agents. Tom Brady is still in town, which gives them a great chance to repeat as Super Bowl champions. No one is expecting much of a drop-off from Tampa Bay.
All of that being said, let’s dive in and take a look at three early predictions for the Week 1 matchup between the Cowboys and Buccaneers to kick off the 2021 NFL season.
3. The Buccaneers’ Offense Will Be Unstoppable Once Again
First up, we are going to talk a bit about the Tampa Bay offense and how good they are going to be again this season. After seeing both Antonio Brown and Rob Gronkowski pick things up late in the season and in the playoffs, the Buccaneers are going to be extremely dangerous. That will begin in Week 1 and the Buccaneers are going to give the Dallas defense a very tough first outing.
Even though the Cowboys absolutely improved their defensive unit, they are not going to be ready for Tampa Bay. Brady will shred the secondary to the tune of at least 350 passing yards and three touchdowns. Mike Evans, Antonio Brown, Scotty Miller, Rob Gronkowski, and the rest of the playmakers for the Buccaneers are going to have a field day.
No one should be expecting Brady and company to fall off this season. They are still an elite offense and that will show immediately in their first game of the season.
2. Dak Prescott Makes An Early MVP Statement
While the Tampa Bay offense will get off to a fast start this season, the defense is going to struggle against Dak Prescott. Last year, the Cowboys saw their star quarterback go down with a season-ending gruesome ankle injury. He will be back with a chip on his shoulder and a new massive contract extension under his belt looking to prove himself.
Prescott has heard his name thrown around in the MVP conversation a couple times over the last few years. Unfortunately, he has not been able to win the prestigious award. Whether or not he will win the award this season only time will tell, but he will make a statement in Week 1 that he should be considered an early candidate.
He will carve up the Buccaneers’ defense and will throw for at least 375 yards and four touchdowns. Prescott has three legitimate star wide receivers on the roster and one of the most talented running backs in the NFL taking pressure off of him. This offense has the potential to be something very special and some of that potential will be on full display right off the bat this year.
1. Tampa Bay Will Sneak Out With A Very Close Victory
Finally, we are going to make a very early final score prediction for the Week 1 contest. While the Cowboys are going to put up a hard fight, they are going to come up just short against Brady and the Buccaneers. They just don’t have as much talent on their roster overall as Tampa Bay does.
Prescott and Brady are going to put on a show for the fans and will get the season started off in entertaining fashion. This game is going to come down to the wire, but the Buccaneers will make enough plays down the stretch to get their first win of the year.
We are predicting that the final score of this game will end up being decided by just a field goal. Tampa Bay will come out victorious, but the Cowboys will show that they are not to be taken lightly in 2021. It will be a perfect game to kick off the new season and assuming no major injuries happen in training camp or throughout the season, both of these teams should be in playoff contention.