Behind another efficient performance by QB Cam Newton, the visiting Carolina Panthers took a 31-13 decision in the prime-time NFC South matchup on the NFL Network. The loss dropped Tampa Bay to 0-7 in 2013 while the Panthers improved to 4-3, moving above .500 for the first time since 2008.
Tampa Bay’s defense sacked Newton three times and mostly avoided the big play, but it was on the field for too long thanks to an inconsistent offense and the Panthers’ ability to convert on five of 12 third-down tries. Buccaneers QB
“Carolina played tough defense,” said Wright. “They rallied around getting to the ball and getting to the quarterback. We just had to execute a little better, holding our blocks a little longer, catching the balls that we need to catch. There was a penalty here and there. But hats off to them; they did a good job.”
Glennon finished with 275 yards on 30-of-51 passing, and he was not intercepted. Meanwhile, a Tampa Bay rushing attack that was minus lead back
“He’s a tough quarterback,” said Wright. “I tip my hat to him for standing in there and fighting and still delivering the ball. He was still trusting his reads, and you can’t ask a quarterback to do more than that.”
“We just weren’t finishing drives,” said James. “Point-blank, period, we’ve just got to get that done. That’s something that we’re looking to get better at in the future, and we’ll get better tomorrow.
“I think it went okay [for me]. I did some things to help out, but not enough to win. I’m a competitor. No good day is a good day without a competitor.”
The first half was relatively even in a lot of ways, but the Panthers took the 14-6 lead into intermission because they were able to finish their scoring drives in the end zone. Carolina scored first on a one-yard touchdown pass from Newton to TE Greg Olsen, after which the Bucs responded with a 51-yard field goal drive. Carolina came right back with an 80-yard TD march ending in RB DeAngelo Williams’ 12-yard run, and the Bucs once again responded with a
LB Lavonte David led the Buccaneers’ defense with 12 tackles, his fifth sack of the season, two tackles for loss and a quarterback hit. The Bucs held Carolina to 327 yards of offense but did not force a turnover. In addition, the Bucs’ defense was fighting against poor field position all night, as Carolina had an average drive start of its own 35 yard line while the Bucs started at an average of their own 19.
The Bucs got the ball first but went three-and-out to start the game despite a very nice run by James on his first handoff, as he side-stepped a tackle to get four yards. Glennon was actually on the money with his third-and-four throw to Jackson, but Jackson couldn’t haul it in and the Bucs had to punt.
The Panthers’ first series got off to a rough start when RB Mike Tolbert was flagged for a face-mask penalty against S
I did some things to help out, but not enough to win. I’m a competitor. No good day is a good day without a competitor.
A 22-yard run by Tolbert got the Panthers’ next drive off to a good start, bringing the first quarter to an end with the ball at Carolina’s 46. A 35-yard catch-and-run by WR Ted Ginn Jr. on third-and-three got the ball to the Bucs 12 and RB DeAngelo Williams took it in from there to make the score 14-3 in the visitors’ favor.
Nice runs by James (15 yards) and Leonard (seven) got the ball to the Bucs’ 34, but they faced a third-and-three at that point. Glennon never got a chance to convert the third down as
Ginn dropped what appeared to be a sure touchdown on a first-down bomb to start the next drive, and Revis broke up a third-down pass intended for Smith to force Carolina’s first punt of the game. The Bucs started at their own 27 and fell into a third-and-seven hole, but a nice comeback route by WR
Two 17-yard catches by Ginn put the ball at the Bucs’ 47 as the two-minute warning arrived. A near-interception by Barron and a seven-yard sack by blitzing CB
The punt pushed the Bucs back to their own 10, but a leaping 24-yard catch by Underwood got the ball out to the 40 and prompted Tampa Bay to use its last timeout with 26 seconds left in the half. However, a Greg Hardy sack on the next play kept the drive from gaining any traction.
The Panthers got the ball first to start the second half but had to punt it away after David made consecutive big plays, combining with DE
The Bucs’ offense was unable to move the ball, however, and the ensuing punt ended up with the ball at Carolina’s 47. A 16-yard catch by Olsen and a wild scramble by Newton got the ball to the Bucs’ 34 and set up a third-and-two. The Panthers let Newton keep it on a sneak but he was stopped after a gain of one by David. The Panthers brought in a jumbo crew to go for it on fourth-and-one and Tolbert was able to reach across the line to get the first down. A designed run by Newton two plays later took it down to the Bucs’ eight and the QB took it in himself moments later on a six-yard run.
The two teams then traded punts, but that worked out in Carolina’s favor when Eric Page fumbled his attempt at a fair catch and the ball was recovered by Panthers S Colin Jones at the Bucs’ 29. The Panthers turned that into a touchdown, with Newton throwing a three-yard scoring pass to Tolbert on the first play of the fourth quarter.
- The Buccaneers declared the following seven players inactive before Thursday’s game: RB
- The Panthers declared the following seven players inactive: DT Dwan Edwards, DT Sione Fua, WR Tavarres King, WR Marvin McNutt, RB Armond Smith, CB Josh Thomas and WR Brandon Williams. Edwards and Thomas were out due to injury or illness.
- LB Lavonte David’s sack of QB Cam Newton in the first quarter was David’s fifth of the season, making him the first Buccaneer linebacker to get five sacks in a season since Lonnie Marts recorded seven in 1997.
- WR Mike Williams’ 12-yard catch in the second quarter moved him past Michael Clayton into ninth place on Tampa Bay’s all-time receiving yardage chart. A five-yard grab in the fourth quarter then pushed him past Bruce Hill into eighth. Williams finished the game with 20 yards on three catches, giving him 2,947 as a Buccaneer and surpassing Clayton’s 2,936 and Hill’s 2,942.