The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are on pace to allow the most points in NFL history.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers were embarrassed by the Carolina Panthers. Cam Newton thrashed the Bucs defense in a 42-28 blowout.
Leading up to Sunday’s game, the biggest story revolved around the Buccaneers quarterbacks. Unfortunately, it didn’t matter which quarterback was under center when the defense gave up five touchdowns in the first half.
Defensively, Tampa Bay looked pathetic. The Panthers gained 407 total yards. Calmly and smoothly, Carolina drove down the field without any resistance.
They slowed down Newton in the second half, allowing just one score, but the damage was already done. The 35-point first half put Fitzpatrick and the offense in a hole they couldn’t climb out of.
The Panthers provided a balanced attack that featured a heavy dose of Christian McCaffrey as a receiver and runner. McCaffrey had 157 yards from scrimmage on 22 touches. He also found the end zone twice.
Tampa Bay’s inability to wrap up Carolina’s weapons let to a few big plays. Including an embarrassing reverse play that led to a 33-yard Curtis Samuel touchdown.
Frankly, it was one of the most pathetic performances of the season. Considering how the Buccaneers are on pace to have the worst defense in the history of the league, that’s saying something.
The only way the Bucs had a chance to win Sunday’s football game was a perfect performance from Ryan Fitzpatrick.
Ryan Fitzpatrick tried to carry the Buccaneers back into the game. He ended his day with 243 yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions. But it wasn’t enough, Fitzpatrick’s slow start made it an impossible task, even with his knack for making games close.
In the final quarter, Fitzpatrick brought the Bucs within one score. Down by seven, all Tampa needed was one stop to try and tie the game.
But, as Buccaneers fans could have predicted, the defense couldn’t get the pivotal stop and Carolina would be back up by 14 in short order.
Out of halftime, the Buccaneers showed some fight. The defense opened up with back-to-back three and outs, and Fitzpatrick hit Adam Humphries for a touchdown. The Bucs still trailed by 14, but there was a glimmer of magic.
The Panthers controlled every aspect of the game in the first half. Fitzpatrick managed to lead one solid drive, but Peyton Barber was stifled on the ground, and the offensive line had problems in pass protection.
Offensively, Carolina’s dominated. They averaged an impressive 7.3 yards per play. On the ground, the Panthers ran for almost six yards per play. Simply put, the Bucs had no answers.
Tampa opened the second quarter on a positive note. O.J. Howard caught a touchdown pass, and the Bucs had momentum for the first time.
The first quarter was a tough one for the Bucs on both sides of the ball. Fitzpatrick threw an ugly turnover. Carolina exposed rookie corner Carlton Davis on a long touchdown drive.
Christian McCaffrey hurdled Davis on a 32-yard catch. Then, Davis whiffed when he attempted to tackle wideout D.J. Moore.
The Bucs offense got off to a crawl. Fitzpatrick sailed a pass over the head of Mike Evans that landed in the hands of a Panthers safety.
Newton would make Tampa pay for its mistake with a quick touchdown drive. That would get the ball rolling, and it wouldn’t slow down for the rest of the contest.