Buccaneers 17 Panthers 14: Immediate Reactions

Immediate reactions to the Buccaneers win over the Carolina Panthers.

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The Tampa Bay Buccaneers went on the road ran their record to 2-3 by beating the defending NFC champions in prime time by the score of 17-14, on a last-minute field goal by Roberto Aguayo. Here are some quick thoughts.

Observations: Offense

  • Jacquizz Rodgers is a good running back. Get him to the second level and he is fast! 30 carries for 101 yards is a huge night,
  • Jameis Winston must become more consistent with his accuracy. He simply misses open receivers down the field too much. Coming off of the turnover that began the fourth quarter, he had two open throws, one to Mike Evans, and one to Adam Humphries, that he just missed. He is a great young talent, but he has to make the big throw in the big spot to take that next step.
  • Despite the above, Winston led a terrific drive in the waning minutes to win the game. He made good throws when he had to, and set the team up for victory. In other words, he did his job.
  • Mike Evans had another strong game, leading the team with six catches for 89 yards and a touchdown. The Evans/Winston combination is alive and well and thriving in Tampa Bay.
  • Folks, give it up to the offensive line. Winston was only sacked twice, and Rodgers had holes open most of the night. The line did an outstanding job.

Observations: Defense

  • Derek Anderson has talent, but he is not as good as the Bucs’ defense made him look. James Yarcho was right when he pointed out that there was no advantage with Cam Newton out. You can blame the injuries and no pass rush up front in part, but this secondary is just not playing worth the money and time they spent on it. He did get picked off twice, once on a tipped ball, but he shouldn’t have thrown for nearly 300 yards. The Bucs’ defense should be better than that.
  • The linebackers were not great. When the tight end sets a career-high in receiving yards (181), it’s not a good sign for the performance of the linebacking corp. Yes, safeties and small corners were matched up on Greg Olsen as well, but the linebackers are the prime suspects on the intermediate pass plays. Kwon Alexander and company were slow in the passing game in this one.
  • Derek Anderson played a clean game. I know there were all kinds of injuries on the defensive front. But all teams have injuries. The next man up policy applies, and the backups didn’t get anywhere near Anderson. These guys have to help out while players like Robert Ayers are on the mend.
  • I’m not a big fan of Brent Grimes as many of you that follow this site know. That being said, he made some athletic play on the interception in the end zone. Anderson made a bad decision, but Grimes flew through the air to make the play.

Other Observations

  • Dirk Koetter has to be careful with the play calling. There were moments, especially late, where Koetter nearly sunk the team by getting too conservative. I understand that Winston made a couple of bad decisions. However, you have to let your quarterback make a play on third and long late in the game. Taking the ball away from him nearly cost them the game
  • Great job by Roberto Aguayo converting the final kick. Hopefully it will be the kick that sets his confidence going again, and gets him on the right track. With two more misses in this one, we all know about his troubles.
  • Too many penalties. The number of five is not huge, but there were too many pre-snap penalties that killed drives.

This is just what the Bucs needed heading into the bye week.

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