Panthers 38, Buccaneers 19
TAMPA — Cam Newton set an NFL rookie record Sunday when he rushed for 3 touchdowns making it 13 on the year in a 38-19 rout of divisional rival Tampa Bay.
Newton made the Bucs the,attest victim in his fierce Rookie of the Year campaign. The rookie went 204 yards through the air and over 50 on the ground in one of his more impressive games all year. It seemed although the Bucs defense couldn’t stop anything Newton threw or ran at them.
Even Jonathan Stewart had a decent day going 80 yards and a score.
It was a total failure for the Buccaneers who couldn’t pass, couldn’t run and couldn’t defend anything Sunday. Josh Freeman was inactive due to a shoulder injury and it was all down hill from there.
I’d like to say the Bucs suffered from Peyton Manning syndrome where without their leader they are lost. But even when Freeman was playing the Bucs have gotten blown out.
LeGarrette Blount was running against a weak run defense but he still only managed 19 yards total. Josh Johnson, the guy who got the nod over Freeman, went for 229 through the air and 45 on the ground and got his first touchdown pass in over two years.
There were bright spots but they were early and few and far in between.
Da’Quan Bowers finished with 1.5 sacks and actually was able to pressure Newton at times as was his lineman on the opposite end, Adrian Clayborn.
But beyond a few good plays on defense and a 42 yard pass by Johnson to Mike Williams,the day was very forgettable for the Bucs. If there wasn’t universal questions being asked about Raheem Morris’ job security, they are going to be plentiful now.
The Bucs have now officially sunk to last place and are tied with the Panthers there. At 4-8 the Bucs are a loss away from securing a losing season a mere season after setting up so much potential for a championship run.
That’s what’s so disappointing about this season. The Bucs were implying that they were ready to make a serious championship run. Look at the two seasons in contrast.
Last season Raheem Morris was a young genius, Josh Freeman was on the cusp of being an elite franchise quarterback with the uncanny knack for comeback wins and the Bucs were in the playoff hunt.
This season, questions are being asked about Raheem Morris’ job, Josh Freeman is inaccurate and can’t lead a comeback and the Bucs are in the hunt for a top 5 draft pick.
That’s what hurts so much about the loss and the frustration stems from the pain. If I’m the Glazers and I’m the Buccaneers, I’m apologizing profusely for falsely advertising this season.