Previously on Bucs Blog:
After last season’s dismal 4-12 record, the Bucs made some serious overhauls throughout the organization, starting from the head coach and working their way down. New coach Lovie Smith takes the helm as Tampa sets sail for the 2014 NFL season, bringing with him a new attitude and leading some new faces on offense and defense and with the pirate ship bedecked with a tweaked logo and new uniforms that make me wonder if the Bucs think they might be battling the Master Control Program on the Game Grid, rather than playing football.
So, how’d it go? Well…..
Panthers 20 – Bucs 14
Carolina quarterback Cam Newton didn’t start today due to rib injuries he sustained during the preseason, leaving backup passer Derek Anderson to handle the ball-chucking duties. For a guy who didn’t get a lot of real game snaps the past few years, he looked more than capable of handling the anemic defensive effort Tampa chose to throw at him during the game’s first half. Anderson threw for 230 yards, completing 24 out of 34 passes with no interceptions. Though the Bucs were able to sack him once, he managed to go most of the day without any real harassment.
Meanwhile, of Tampa’s eleven offensive series, five ended with punts, and two ended thanks to interceptions thrown by quarterback Josh McCown in what were–to put it mildly–poor choices on his part. Another drive ended with a fumble. The Bucs looked like they might be trying to snatch the victory from Carolina’s grasp late in the game with back-to-back touchdown drives, but that fumble I was talking about earlier? Yeah, that pretty much was the final nail in the coffin, with the Panthers notching one last field goal to lock things up for good.
:: sigh ::
So the Bucs start off the new season at 0-1, sharing the bottom half of the NFC South Division with Atlanta, who lost to fellow NFC Souther New Orleans and who now stand with Carolina at 1-0. Next up for Tampa? They travel to St. Louis to take on the Rams, who got absolutely spanked today by the Minnesota Vikings. Both teams will be looking to atone for poor outings today, so if I’m lucky I’ll be able to stifle a yawn long enough to watch the game play out.
Yo ho, yo ho….yadda yadda me.