Tampa Bay loses a tough game across the pond 37-26 to the Carolina Panthers. The Buccaneers turned the ball over a disastrous 7 times. Bucs’ record drops to 2-4.
Winston With 5 Interceptions
Jameis Winston ended up having one of the most nightmarish games of his young career. The former Florida State Seminole was picked off 5 times and had 2 fumbles, one of them was recovered by Carolina in a crucial situation just before the half. Tampa Bay most likely would have scored at least a field goal to make it a one-possession game.
On the other hand, Winston still managed to pass for 400 yards and a touchdown. Mike Evans and Chris Godwin both were scoreless this time. They did combine for an impressive 19 catches and 250 yards, however. Evans could have boosted those numbers immensely, but he had a huge drop on a perfect deep pass by Winston.
Is Winston To Blame?
Without a doubt, statistically, it was a terrible game for Winston. However, especially in sports, stats do not always tell the whole story. Tampa Bay’s quarterback was instantly under pressure throughout the entire game. The offensive line, especially on the right side, was not able at all to keep the pass rush away from the quarterback. The Panthers recorded 7 sacks, 2.5 of them came from Gerald McCoy. Consequently, Winston was practically forced to make something out of nothing on the majority of plays.
To make matters worse, the running game was non-existent this time. Arians and Leftwich basically abandoned the rushing attack, as the Bucs only ran the 14 times for a measly 42 yards. That resulted in Winston having to attempt an unbelievable 54 passes, 30 of them were completions. Having to pass the ball that many times is never a formula for success.
All in all, is it fair to blame Jameis for the loss against the Panthers in London? Certainly, some would say “yes”, particularly after checking out his stats. However, if you have watched the game it is obvious the offensive line has to take a huge part of the blame for the offense’s output. If someone had put Tom Brady in under center for the Bucs, he would have been dead by the half.
Defensive Struggles Continue
It is yet again the same old story for the Buccaneers. They faced another backup quarterback in Kyle Allen and he delivered a very good performance against Tampa Bay’s secondary.
Vernon Hargreaves looked lost for the most part of the game, again. Allen ended up passing for 227 yards. He completed 20 of his 32 passing attempts and the Bucs failed to take the ball away from him.
Shaq Barrett was now a no-show for the second week in a row. The Bucs only sacked Allen twice and he was very comfortable in the pocket due to the lack of a pass rush.
Run Defense Remains Stout
On a positive note, the run defense showed up against one of the most dangerous running backs in the NFL, again. McCaffrey only had 31 yards on the ground on 22 attempts, resulting in an average of a ridiculous 1.4 yards per carry. Unfortunately, the Bucs could not capitalize from keeping him in check.
Conclusion: Bucs Already In Danger Of Letting Season Slip Away
This loss hurts tremendously, particularly since it was against a division rival. The Bucs now have only 2 wins after six games. The bye week is much-needed at this point.
Next up is an away game in Tennessee on October 27th.
Photo credit: buccaneers.com