Buccaneers Win NFC South with Shutout of Carolina


Give the game ball to Buccaneers kicker Chase McLaughlin and defensive back Antoine Winfield Jr.

I’m going to be perfectly honest. I had to drive back to college for my spring semester. I can safely say I did not miss much while listening to the game on the radio. Man oh man was that bad. Offense sounded completely lifeless on all fronts. Thankfully, the defense carried the entire team on its back.

If the Panthers ever got a little spark of life, the defense stepped on it. Usually the one doing that was non-Pro-Bowler Antoine Winfield Jr. On what should’ve been a Panthers touchdown, he forced a fumble at the goalline.

Run defense was definitely sketchy, especially considering that is all the Panthers did. They managed 113 yards on the ground. Bryce Young managed to outrun Shaq Barrett and the rest of the d-line for 26 yards. Not great. If it is the Eagles the Bucs end up facing, that run defense might let up 300 yards of rushing.

With that being said, the Buccaneers basically shut down the Panthers passing offense. Not that I expected great things from that, but it was nice to reinforce that Bryce Young is terrible right now. He completed 11/18 for 94 yards. Also, not getting a single touchdown. Not good.

Now to get to the bad part. I do want to preface this with the fact that Baker Mayfield was hurt. Alright, with that out of the way, he played like complete shit. Overthrowing, underthrowing, bad decision making. He did a lot of wrong. It was so bad that some non-Gator fans wanted Kyle Trask on the field. That is how you know he played terribly. He did complete 20/32 throws for 137 yards, also no tds. Better than Young, but not a great performance. He also had three passes that should’ve been picked, but every CB (including ours) agreed not to catch a single interception..

If you want to look at the real culprit for the bad offensive performance, look no further than Dave Canales. I like him, I really do. He has done good, sometimes very good, but my God does some of his decision making me want to scream. It felt like Trey Palmer was the only one being schemed open. I like Palmer, but he has had some bad games as of late. He fumbled again in this game and was lucky Robert Hainsey was there to fall on it.

This offense just felt very slow and he did not do a good job of getting his playmakers open. Chris Godwin had over fifty yards. Not terrible, but Mike Evans only had 3 receptions for 22 yards. Two of those receptions came back to back on the first drive. Just not good. I know that the Panthers defense is pretty solid, but that is inexcusable. The run game did fine I guess. Rachaad White got 75 yards on 19 carries, barely under 4 yards a carry.

I am of course happy that the Buccaneers have three-peated as NFC South champions, but this was not the game I wanted to see. Defense was great despite the run defense. But the offense needs to realize its identity is passing the ball, preferably to Mike Evans and Chris Godwin. We’ll see what they look like against the NFC East team that they face, but for now, Baker gets to rest knowing he brought us here with no expectations while battling injury.


Make sure you check out Devin’s blog at cannoncrunch.wordpress.com.

Cannon Crunch with Devin Sanguinett

Cannon Crunch with Devin Sanguinett

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