Okay, Bucs. Might as well play to secure draft position, now.
Panthers 19 – Bucs 17
Carolina Panthers backup quarterback Derek Anderson is now 2-0 this season as a starter, stepping in today for #1 QB Cam Newton, who was injured in a car accident early last week. Guess who his first win was against?
Not a lot to say about the game, really. All Tampa could do was play for pride, but even that effort fell short as Anderson rallied his Panthers offense to a decent if not spectacular win over the beleaguered Bucs. Carolina improves to 5-8-1 and, incredibly, has a chance to take possession of first place in the NFC South division thanks to Atlanta’s loss today and if New Orleans is defeated by Chicago tomorrow night. This isn’t an unlikely scenario, either, even as the Bears deal with their own struggles this year. No matter how it goes down, the Saints, Panthers, and Falcons are all circling one another, hoping to latch on to the top spot in what is setting up to be a fight to the finish with two weeks to play.
That’s right: Three teams, all with losing records and none with a chance to finish above .500, are in contention not only for a playoff berth but also a division title. Meanwhile, the Tampa Bay Bucs are 2-12. They couldn’t even find a way to stumble into that steaming pile of mediocrity.
The term we’re probably searching for at this point is, “fucking embarrassing.”
Next up for the Bucs? Hosting the Green Bay Packers, who likely will see this as a nice way to pad their own record after getting surprised by the Bills earlier today. They’re in the hunt for the NFC North title, and it’s all about playoff positioning at this point. Can the Bucs maybe do a little spoiling on that?
I don’t know. There’s still a couple of teams out there who can sneak past them in the draft order, after all.
:: sigh ::