Only four day’s after a tough opening day loss the Tampa Bay Buccaneers look to correct course against the Carolina Panthers. The Bruce Arian’s era in Tampa started slow with the Buccaneers only scoring ten points on offense. Jameis Winston struggled mightily in his first game under his new coach. Winston finished the game with two pick six interceptions. Will the “Quarterback Whisperer’s” offense improve in week two?
While the Buccaneers starting the season with a loss may not have been all too surprising. Many we’re surprised to see Carolina lose in week one as well. Now two teams who disappointed in week one have a chance to redeem themselves in week two. Another important foot note for tonight’s game is it Gerald McCoy’s revenge game. After getting unceremoniously released by the Buc’s and a tumultuous offseason McCoy’s revenge game did not go his way.
An Ugly Start
The Thursday night game began with rain and only two camera’s due to lightning in the area. That only lasted until halfway through the first quarter when lightning caused the fans and players alike to seek shelter. 27 minutes later the game was able to resume still tied at zero. After Cam Newton was unable to convert on a 4th and 1 Tampa Bay was able to capitalize on the good field position with a field goal. However on Carolina’s next drive they were able to tie the game at three.
Tampa Bay’s first round pick Devin White went down and had to be helped of the field by training staff. Later in the first it was announced he was out for the remainder of the game.
Carolina took the lead in the 2nd quarter with a field goal making the score 6-3. The Buccaneers later scored the games first touchdown when Winston hit Chris Godwin for a 20 yard touchdown. With only 1:25 left in the half Carolina was only able to the ball back to the 37 yard line. Joey Slye who was signed after kicker Graham Ghano was put on IR converted on a 54 yard field goal. Heading into half time the Buccaneers held a one point lead at 10-9.
Carolina regained the lead early in the third due to Joey Slye’s fourth field goal of the night. Later the Buccaneers would score their second touchdown of the game with a 16 yard run by Peyton Barber. A few plays before Barbers touchdown Gerald McCoy was flagged for unnecessary roughness giving his old team a free first down.
Tampa also forced the first turnover of the game when Cam Newton had the ball knocked out by Anthony Nelson and Suh dove on it. The Buccaneers moved down the field effectively but ultimately settled for a field goal attempt that Matt Gay failed to convert.
The fourth quarter began with multiple failed drives ending in punts. Carolina was able to pin the Buccaneers in deep in their own territory. A delay of game penalty added onto the already bad field position. Peyton Barber attempted to run up the middle from inside his own end zone but was met by Luke Keuchly and tackled for a safety. The safety cut the Buc’s lead to 3 at 17-14.
Tampa Bay would later get the ball back after punt’s from both teams and run the clock down to under three minutes. The drive also ended in a Matt Gay field goal giving the Buccaneers a six point lead. Carolina eventually got one last chance to win this game with under three minutes left. On 4th down and one Carolina ran a direct snap to Christian McCaffrey that failed to reach the line of gain. Tampa Bay was able to run the clock out and head home with a win.
Shaq Barrett was a force all night ultimately ending the game with three sacks and four quarterback hits.
Tampa Bay will host the New York Giants Sun, Sept 22 at 4:05 Est.
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