5 winners (and 2 losers) from Buccaneers 21-18 win over Panthers

A few guys stepped up in a big way to help secure a much-needed win for the Buccaneers in Week 13.
Carolina Panthers v Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Carolina Panthers v Tampa Bay Buccaneers / Mike Carlson/GettyImages
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Loser: Baker Mayfield, QB

It was a bad day for Baker Mayfield, the kind that his detractors are pointing to as evidence he’s not the guy the team needs under center moving forward.

Mayfield isn’t going to get replaced anytime soon, as he still gives Tampa Bay its best chance to win, but he didn’t do himself any long term favors against the Panthers. He finished the day with 202 yards, but roughly 80 percent of that belong to Mike Evans.

If you take Evans’ 162 yards and his touchdown out of the equation, Mayfield stats are the kind of stuff that get a quarterback benched. Lucky for him the stats for Evans very much count, and he’s in a situation in which his backup is hardly an upgrade. Fans may call for Kyle Trask, but that’s the answer to the question of what things look like if they get worse than Mayfield.

For now Mayfield is both the guy who gives the Bucs their best chance to win and the only capable quarterback in the room. That’s not exactly a glowing endorsement and turning in performance like he did on Sunday aren’t going to make a strong case for him to be the guy in 2024 and beyond.