Panthers 27 – Bucs 6
That’s more like it, right?
Of course, to be fair we have to acknowledge that the Bucs definitely were behind the 8-ball this week. Carolina came into the game waving a seven-game winning streak in everyone’s faces. Meanwhile, Tampa, on a 3-game streak of their own, was still trying to prove to anyone who’s still paying attention that they’re better than indicated by the 3-8 record they brought to today’s contest. A win today, on the road against a division rival with a much better record would go a long way toward easing some of those doubts.
Yeah. Not happening. Long story short? Tampa won the coin toss, and it was all downhill from there.
Long story longer: The most interesting statistic of the day? For me, it was Carolina quarterback Cam Newton’s 68 rushing yards, as compared to the 66 yards mounted by the entire Bucs rushing effort. Newton also nearly doubled Tampa quarterback Mike Glennon’s passing output, notching 260+ yards compared to Glennon’s 140. Turnovers were also a problem. Though this was true for both teams, the Panthers were able to capitalize on the opportunities provided by their takeaways. Meanwhile, the Bucs were stuck in a low gear and were never able to get anything even remotely resembling momentum going.
The loss drops Tampa to 3-9, and fighting Atlanta for sole possession of third place in the NFC South (yay!). Carolina extends their winning streak to 8 games, and will be watching New Orleans tomorrow night to see how they do against Seattle. Up next for the Bucs? Playing for pride as they host the Buffalo Bills, now that (I’m pretty sure) they’ve been mathematically, theoretically, hypothetically and paranormally eliminated from any sort of playoff contention, barring something odd happening like half of the NFL being added to the No-Fly List.
Yo ho hum, a Bucs life for me.