Leonard Fournette, defense fuels Tampa Bay win
The talk all week long heading into Tampa Bay’s Week 2 matchup against NFC South foe Carolina Panthers was how would the Buccaneers respond after a disappointing performance versus the New Orleans Saints?
Everyone got their answer from the offensive and defensive ends of the ball, as Tampa Bay intercepted multiple passes and got a big day from running back Leonard Fournette. The Buccaneers were able to come away with a 31-17 win over the Panthers Sunday afternoon at Raymond James Stadium. Both teams will travel out west next week, as the Panthers visit the Los Angeles Chargers at the newly built So-Fi Stadium and the Buccaneers head to Colorado to take on the Denver Broncos.
Tampa Bay (1-1) started off real hot in the opening quarter, as Tom Brady and crew took advantage of an interception off Teddy Bridgewater and scored on a 78-yard drive that ended with a seven yard touchdown run by running back Ronald Jones. Sunday’s game would see a much more increased emphasis on Tampa Bay utilizing its running backs, with Jones, Fournette and LeSean McCoy all saw time throughout the game.
Brady started to find his groove a little bit with his receivers, as he connected with Mike Evans on a 23-yard touchdown pass to put Tampa Bay up 14-0. Leonard Fournette punched in his first of two touchdowns on the day, a 1-yard plunge, to give the Buccaneers a commanding 21-0 lead heading into intermission.
The second half, though, is where things went weary on both sides of the ball as the offense became stagnant and the Panthers crept back into the game behind Bridgewater. Carolina got to within 21-14 in the fourth quarter but a timely interception of Bridgewater by cornerback Carlton Davis helped seal the win. A 46-yard scoring run by Fournette late in the game really helped ice the contest.
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