Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Carolina Panthers: Recap and Highlightsby Ken Filler September 17, 2019 0 comments
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers went into Charlotte and came away with a 20-14 in an early-season divisional matchup with the Panthers.
The defense once again came up big time after time as they held Cam Newton and Christian McCaffrey in check most of the night. This defense is playing the best we have seen a defense in Tampa play in years.
Defensive back Vernon Hargreaves had his best game as a Buccaneer with 12 tackles. He also made the play of the game, stopping Carolina running back Christian McCaffrey at the Tampatwo-yard yard line with 1:28 to go to seal the win for the Buccaneers.
After two games, Hargreaves is on pace to have his best NFL season, assuming he can stay healthy.
Linebacker Shaq Barrett had three sacks of Cam Newton, with two coming on consecutive plays in the third quarter. Barrett now has all four of the Buccaneers’ sacks this season.
Bruce Arians’s defensive philosophy is “defend every blade of grass” and this defense did that on Thursday night.
Panthers’ all-purpose back Christian McCaffrey, who had over 200 yards of total offense against the NFC champion Rams in their opener, was held to 53 yards of total offense, 37 yards rushing and 16 yards receiving against the Buccaneers.
The Bucs’ defense harassed Cam Newton all night and had him scrambling as he completed 24 of 50 passes for 324 yards.
It looks like the pounding that Cam newton has taken over the years is starting to take its toll and we may never see Cam Newton make the type of plays that we saw when he first came into the league.
The Bucs’ defense held the Panthers to just three successful third down conversions on 14 attempts, and no fourth down conversions on three attempts. What’s even more impressive is those three fourth downs that the Panthers went for were all one yard or less for the first down and the Bucs held them.
How good has this defense been? They have allowed just one touchdown in two games so far this season. A major improvement over 2018 when this defense couldn’t stop anyone and was consistently giving up over 400 yards every game.
Offensively, James Winston looked like calm, cool, and collected most of the night. Although he was sacked three times and he showed a couple of rough moments in the first half, Winston was in control of the game most of the night and is really starting to develop some good chemistry with wide receiver Chris Godwin.
Godwin had eight catches for 121 yards and one touchdown and is quietly becoming a favorite target of Winston.
Winston completed 16 of 25 passes for 208 yards with one touchdown and no interceptions.
Mike Evans and tight end O.J. Howard were both non-factors as Evans had just four catches for 61 yards and Howard was shut out. Evans is due to have a breakout game sooner than later.
On the play of O.J. Howard who has not had a great start to the season, Arians said, “He has to play better.”
Running back Peyton Barber had the hot hand at running back, rushing for 82 yards and one touchdown.
Arians has said he doesn’t mind who starts the game, as he will ride the hot hand at running back throughout the game. Barber and Jones are quickly becoming a nice combo for the Buccaneers.
The only real negative of the game was the number of penalties that the Bucs racked up. Tampa Bay had 12 penalties for 66 yards, which is four more penalties than they had in their opener against San Francisco.
Rookie linebacker Devin White left early in the game with a knee injury. Kevin Minter stepped in for White did a nice job calling the defensive signals. White is listed as day to day and is hopeful to be ready for the Bucs’ next game against the Giants.
The Bucs will face anotherall-purposee back in Saquon Barkley when the Giants come to Tampa next Sunday as the Bucs induct legend Ronde Barber into the Ring of Honor at halftime.