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It is time for the San Francisco 49ers and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, facing off in the NFL’s opening weekend on Sunday, to prove that they can get better.
For the Niners, this could be as simple as keeping quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo on the field. Though Jimmy G has been in the league for two years, he has only played a total of nine games. Garoppolo has to stay healthy if the 49ers are going to be special this season.
In Tampa Bay, Jameis Winston has played a lot, but it hasn’t amounted to much. The hope is that new coach Bruce Arians can do what prior regimes couldn’t: Help Winston finally realize his 1st round potential.
Tampa Bay fielded the worst secondary in the NFL last year, so this is an ideal situation for Garoppolo to show that he shake off his injury woes and position himself as an elite quarterback. Likewise, the 49ers also had a soft secondary last year, so maybe Winston will be able to contain his tendency towards turnovers against this struggling unit.
One key matchup to watch will be Bucs number one receiver Mike Evans against Niners cornerback Richard Sherman. If Sherman can’t quite get back to his old self, Winston could connect with his top target all day long. If the San Francisco secondary can contain Evans, it will be up to receiver Chris Godwin to pick up the slack.
The Bucs will be trying to contain breakout tight end George Kittle, who could act as a clutch safety valve for Garoppolo as he tries to make the leap as a passer. If Tampa’s linebackers can ruffle Kittle, it might force Garoppolo to take risks he would rather avoid. A receiving corps absent of household names could hurt the young quarterback if his other weapons are neutralized.
If these struggling quarterbacks are going to put it together, this first game might lay out the blueprint for what that might look like. A bad performance here could be the beginning of the end for either of these signal-callers.
|HOW TO WATCH 49ERS VS. BUCCANEERS|
|HULU WITH LIVE TV||TRY NOW|
|SLING TV||TRY NOW|
|PLAYSTATION VUE||TRY NOW|
San Francisco 49ers Vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- When: Sunday, Sept. 8 at 4:25pm ET
- Where: Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, FL
- Streaming: FOX, NFL Sunday Ticket
There are a number of options for watching 49ers vs. Bucs with streaming platforms that carry FOX. However, consult a coverage map to see what game your regional channel will be playing.
If a game is not being carried in your area, the only option might be an NFL Sunday Ticket package.
49ers vs Buccaneers live stream: How to watch NFL online
1) Sling TV
- Cost: $25-$40 per month (40% off first month)
- Sling TV devices: Amazon Fire TVs, Android Fire Stick, Apple TV, Android TV, Roku, Xbox One, Google Chromecast, Oculus Go, and iOS and Android devices
- Sling TV local channels: NBC, FOX (check your local availability here)
If you want to watch the 49ers vs. Buccaneers online via Sling TV, you’ll need to be subscribed to either Sling Blue ($25 per month) or Sling Orange + Blue ($40 per month). Both of those packages include NFL Network and a number of sports channels—like three ESPN channels, NBCSN, and FS1—and it’s still a nice perk that Sling subscribers can order a la carte packages. Sling TV also offers a special Latino package for bilingual viewers. Sling TV is currently offering a deal where you can subscribe for 40% off the regular price for the first month of your subscription. That means Sling Blue would cost $15, and Sling Orange + Blue would cost $25. (Here’s a complete guide to Sling TV channels and our Sling TV review.)
For $10 extra per month, you can get NFL RedZone via the Sling Blue Sports Extra package.
How to use AirTV with Sling
AirTV solves one of the Sling’s biggest problems: The inability to receive all of your local channels. By purchasing a basic AirTV for $79.99 or the AirTV Player for $119.99, you can merge those local channels into your Sling TV, (or on your mobile device if you have the basic AirTV). As the Daily Dot wrote in its AirTV review, “it’s practically magic.”
The basic AirTV is a dual-tuner streaming device, while the AirTV Player is basically an upgraded Chromecast that has Netflix preinstalled. You’ll still need to own an HD antenna because even though AirTV gets you access to your local channels, it doesn’t actually physically show them to you.
But AirTV—which has no monthly fee—serves to strengthen one of Sling’s biggest weaknesses compared to other live streaming services like Hulu with Live TV, YouTube TV, and PlayStation Vue. All those services have plenty of local channels.
- Cost: $54.99 per month (after a 7-day free trial)
- FuboTV devices: Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire, Android TV, iOS and Android devices
- FuboTV local channels: Fox, NBC, CBS (check local availability here)
If you’re a big-time sports fan, FuboTV is your best streaming service option. If you love international soccer and you’re a Spanish speaker, FuboTV also offers various add-on packages, including Fubo Latino and Fubo Português. FuboTV’s basic plan showcases nearly 100 channels and includes NFL Network. At $54.99 per month, you’ll also get FS1, FS2, NBCSN, NBA TV, Big Ten Network, Pac 12 Network, BeIn Sports, and CBS Sports Network, along with premium channels like FX/FXX/FXM. The only notable omission for sports fans is ESPN. You can add Fubo’s Sports Plus package for an additional $8.99 per month, which allows you to stream NFL RedZone, (Here’s the complete FuboTV channels list.)
- Cost: $44.99-$79.99 per month (after a 5-day free trial)
- PlayStation Vue devices: PlayStation 3 and 4, Roku, Amazon Fire, Google Chromecast, Kodi, iOS and Android devices
- PlayStation Vue local channels: NBC, Fox, ABC, CBS (enter your ZIP code here to check your availability)
If you’d like to watch live NFL games directly from your PS4, PlayStation Vue is your best bet. PlayStation also works with streaming devices like Roku and Amazon Fire products, but what separates PlayStation from the rest of the streaming services is that it’s also compatible with Kodi. No matter how you stream, you’ll get to choose from four tiers of channels—all but the cheapest include NFL Network. From there, you can also add NFL RedZone as part of the $10-per-month Sports Pack, which also unlocks ESPN Bases Loaded, ESPN Classic, Longhorn Network, Outside TV, and NBCUniversal regional sports networks. You can see the full list of PlayStation Vue channels here. Two other great perks: You can stream on up to five devices at once, and there’s also unlimited cloud DVR.
- Cost: $44.99 per month (after a 7-day free trial)
- Hulu devices: Roku, Apple TV, Google Chromecast, Amazon Fire Stick and Fire TV, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Nintendo Switch, and iOS and Android devices
- Hulu local channels: ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, the CW (check your local availability here)
Hulu with Live TV includes sports programming among its offerings, including ESPN and FS1, and as a subscriber to the service, you’ll get free access to Hulu’s sizable on-demand library. (Check out the full list of Hulu Live TV channels.)
5) YouTube TV
- Cost: $50 per month (after a 7-day free trial)
- YouTube TV devices: Google Chromecast, Roku, Apple TV, Android TV, Xbox One, iOS and Android devices
- YouTube TV local channels: NBC, CBS, Fox, ABC, the CW (enter your ZIP code here to check your availability)
6) NFL Sunday Ticket
Cost: $73.99 per month for four months, or one single payment of $293.96
There are two—and only two—ways of acquiring NFL Sunday Ticket without DirecTV. There’s NFLSundayTicket.TV, which costs $73.99 per month for four months. It’s everything you love NFL Sunday Ticket but online-only. You can stream from pretty much any device that connects to the internet (but only on one device at a time).
You can also upgrade to the NFLST.TV Max bundle for a total of $99 per month for four months or one single payment of $395.99. You can also add on NFL Game Pass, which allows you to watch replays of every game after they air, for $50 for the full season.
There’s another way to watch NFL Sunday Ticket without DirecTV: Amazon Prime. While you can’t pay for the package using Amazon Prime, you can at least watch all of the games on the service. To start, first download the NFL Sunday Ticket channel on Amazon Prime. It’s free. From there, you’ll just need to sign in with your subscription credentials.
College students can purchase NFL Sunday Ticket at a discounted price through NFLSundayTicket.TV U.
49ers vs. Buccaneers: Why it matters
You can analyze both of these rosters all you want, but it all has to start with the quarterback. Both of these QBs are going to have to shake off the demons of the past if they are going to take their teams to the next level.
Both teams have potential. There are few receivers in the league better than Tampa’s Mike Evans. The bruising rushing combination of Matt Breida and Tevin Coleman in San Francisco looks formidable. Both teams have impressive tight ends in O.J. Howard and George Kittle. But, none of that is going to matter if the signal-callers can’t put the ball in the right place.
Few teams’ fortunes are as up in the air to start the season as these two squads. You could see both teams in the players and you could imagine them both picking at the top of the next draft. Their debuts might give us a clear sense of whether these teams are for real or if both are doomed to another season in the basement of their respective divisions.
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- How to watch NFL RedZone without cable
- How to watch NFL Sunday Ticket without a DirecTV satellite
- How to watch NFL Network online (without cable)
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Brenden Gallagher is a politics reporter and cultural commentator. His work has been published by Motherboard, Complex, and VH1. He’s the co-founder of Beer Money Films, an indie production company. Based in Los Angeles, he works in television drama as a writers assistant.