Anticipation was at an all-time high for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to kick off their 2017 NFL season, especially since they're one of the most up and coming teams in the league right now. It was also the team's first game after their Week 1 matchup against the Miami Dolphins was postponed due to Hurricane Irma.
Behind a dominant defensive performance, Tampa Bay turned their first game into a victory.
Primary Chicago rusher Jordan Howard has nine carries for just seven yards in the first half, but this could allow a little more room in the middle of the Tampa defense. One of them, an interception by Robert McClain, was returned for a touchdown.
Kwiatkoski, filling in for Freeman, was the Bears' early leader with four tackles, while Compton started in place of Kyle Long for the second consecutive game.More news: Panthers win ugly, 9-3, over Buffalo
If there was any doubt that Bucs linebacker Kwon Alexander might be sidelined by the illness that limited him in Thursday's practice, that fear is gone, as Alexander is active and playing in Tampa Bay's season opener against the Bears.
The Buccaneers converted the turnover into Jacquizz Rodgers' 1-yard TD run, widening the margin to 17-0 with 7:30 remaining in the half.
The Buccaneers will hit the road for Week 3 when they travel to Minnesota to take on the Vikings.