Buccaneers: Carlton Davis’ interception sealed the win vs. Panthers

Carlton Davis interception, Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Carolina Panthers, missed 2021 Pro Bowl (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Carlton Davis interception, Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Carolina Panthers, missed 2021 Pro Bowl (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /

The fourth quarter interception was the turning point for the Buccaneers against the Panthers

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers picked up their first victory of the season Sunday afternoon when they came away with a 31-17 win over the Carolina Panthers.

While it wasn’t always pretty and there were certainly some uncomfortable moments during the game, the ultimate outcome was a Buccaneers win and the team is now back in the right side of the win column following a season-opening loss against the New Orleans Saints last week.

As we look back at the Buccaneers’ victory over the Panthers, one thing is for certain: Carlton Davis‘s fourth-quarter interception was the difference in the outcome. It was the true turning point.

The Buccaneers let the Panthers back in the game, but Davis’ INT sealed the victory for Tampa Bay

After taking a 21-0 lead into halftime, the third quarter and early into the fourth quarter didn’t go quite as planned for the Buccaneers.

The Bucs turned the ball over on a Tom Brady interception and the Panthers scored a touchdown on the ensuing drive to make it 21-7. After the Tampa Bay offense was forced to punt, Carolina went on a 13-play, 93-yard drive that brought the game to within a score at 21-14.

Then the Bucs offense punted again.

Teddy Bridgewater and that Panthers offense took over at their own 12-yard line with an opportunity to tie the game up and the drive got off to a promising start when Bridgewater connected with Robby Anderson for a 39-yard gain to midfield on the very first play. At that point, momentum was quietly shifting to the Panthers’ sideline.

That’s when what some may consider to be the two biggest plays of the afternoon happened. William Gholston sacked Bridgewater on first down and then- after an offsides penalty moved Carolina five yards forward on 2nd and 17- Carlton Davis intercepted Bridgewater, giving the offense new life and the ball on their own 40-yard line.

The rest, as they say, is history.

The Buccaneers kicked a field goal to take a 24-14 lead with just 6:13 remaining in the contest and then the defense held the Panthers to a field goal with less than two minutes remaining. Rob Gronkowski recovered an onside kick and then Leonard Fournette exploded for a 46-yard touchdown for the exclamation point.

dark. Next. Biggest takeaways for the Bucs after two weeks

But, make no mistake, this could’ve been a much different outcome if Davis doesn’t come away with that interception and shift momentum back to the Buccaneers’ sideline early in the fourth quarter.