The Tampa Bay Buccaneers took a loss in week one, but as we know, it’s just one game. This week the Buccaneers yet again face a division foe in the Carolina Panthers (0-1). This will be the Buccaneers home opener as they look to earn their first win of the season.
Before we look ahead to this coming Sunday, let’s take a look at another historical match between these division rivals.
Overall Series Head to Head Record
Carolina leads the series with a record of 24 wins to 15 losses.
December 2nd, 2018
In week 13 of the 2018 season, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers hosted the Carolina Panthers in their second matchup of the season. The Panthers handled business at home in their first game with a final score of 42-28.
The Buccaneers came into this contest with a record of 4-7. The Panthers were looking to collect wins to earn a playoff berth with a record of 6-5. Carolina, led by quarterback Cam Newton, was coming off a close loss to the Seattle Seahawks. Tampa Bay was coming off just their fourth win of the season with it being over the San Fransisco 49ers.
The opening kickoff went to the Buccaneers and quarterback Jameis Winston took over at the 25-yard line. The Buccaneers offense got off to a fast start gaining 29 yards in the first four plays. After a 17 yard gain from running back Peyton Barber, the offense had the ball at the Carolina 23-yard line. After a negative play, the Buccaneers faced a 2nd and 11. On a broken play, Winston scrambled upfield for a gain of 18 yards.
Three plays later Winston found wide receiver Adam Humphries in the end zone for the Buccaneers first lead of the game. Tampa Bay leads 7-0.
Carolina started their first drive at the 25-yard line as well after a touchback. After a 2 yard run on first down, Newton was sacked by linebacker Kevin Minter on second down. Facing a 3rd and 16, Newton dropped back to pass. Firing a throw to the middle of the field, he forced a throw to receiver D.J Moore and it was tipped by linebacker Lavonte David. The ball fell into the arms of safety Andrew Adams and he returned the ball 16 yards to the Carolina 20-yard line.
After their drive stalls, the Buccaneers sent out kicker Cairo Santos. He drilled the 35 yard field goal.
Quick Answer from the Panthers
It did not take the Panthers long to answer the bell after falling behind 10 points. With the ball at their own 29-yard line, running back Christian McCaffrey raced up the field to Tampa Bay’s 8-yard line.
Newton found McCaffrey for an 8 yard touchdown pass on the next play. Buccaneers still lead 10-7.
After trading punts on the teams respective drives, the Buccaneers had the ball in Panthers territory following a big connection from Winston to receiver Chris Godwin. Five plays later the Buccaneers were on the brink of taking a big leads against their division rivals. With the ball on the 4 yard line the offense faced a 2nd and Goal.
They decide to hand the ball off to Barber and he reaches the 1-yard line but loses the ball going for the score. The ball is ultimately recovered by Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly for a Carolina touchback.
After trading punts again between the teams, the Panthers had a chance to either tie or take the lead to end the quarter.
With 4:14 remaining in the half the Panthers produced four quick first downs in five plays. Facing a 2nd and 10 at the Tampa Bay 25 yard line, Newton threw a short pass to his left to D.J Moore. The ball instead was picked off by defensive back Javien Elliot and returned 50 yards to the Carolina 32 yard line.
Winston capped off a short six play drive with a 13 yard touchdown pass to Chris Godwin to take a 17-7 lead into the half.
The second half kickoff was to the Panthers and they quickly got onto the board. Carolina answered with a fast 10 play drive and ended it with a Graham Gano 37 yard field goal. Tampa Bay leads 17-10.
However the scoring continued as Tampa Bay answered with a score of their own. On a drive led by the arm of quarterback Winston the Buccaneers found pay dirt with a one yard plunge from Peyton Barber. Tampa Bay now took a two score lead at 24-10.
Newton vs the Buccaneers
As many Tampa Bay fans know, Newton is not an easy guy to put away. Throughout his time with Panthers he has had his way against the Buccaneers defense.
With his team trailing, and their ball starting at the Carolina 8 yard line, Newton took over. In a drive that included five straight first downs, Cam finished the drive with a 5 yard pass to wide receiver Devin Funchess.
However his team still trailed the Buccaneers 24-17 heading into the 4th quarter.
With 12:24 remaining in the contest and his team down a score, Newton had the ball once again. Usually Buccaneer fans would expect Newton to drive his team down and tie the game up. Fortunately this time was different. On the fourth play of the drive Newton dropped back to pass at the Tampa Bay 44 yard line. Facing heavy pressure Newton threw a pass late to the left sideline to receiver Jarius Wright. The ball however didn’t make it as safety Adams picked off Newton yet again and got his feet in bounds giving his team the ball with 10:44 remaining.
The Andrew Adams Game
Following Winston and company having their drive stall out, the ball was yet again in Newton’s hands with his team down a score. After seven plays the Panthers had the ball in Tampa Bay territory. Newton and the Panthers offense had the ball at the 32 yard line. Facing a 2nd and 5, Newton wanted a big gain. Facing pressure again, Newton threw the ball while getting hit, instead connected with Adams for the third time of the game.
The Buccaneers ending up forcing 4 interceptions from Newton. This game ends up as one of the best defensive performances against the long time Panthers quarterback.
Carolina never came closer than the Tampa Bay 48 yard line. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers hang on to win their fifth game of the season. Final score Tampa Bay 24 Carolina 17.