The Carolina Panthers posted their fourth win today by beating the Tampa Bay Buccaneer in London. Even though they played without injured Cam Newton once again, the Panthers were bettered than the Bucs, securing a 37-26 win.
Carolina’s defense was the ultimate reason for this victory, as they intercepted Bucs’ quarterback Jameis Winston five times today, and also sack the former No.1 pick seven times.
Winston did throw for 400 yards, completing 30 passes from 54 attempts, and setting one TD. But those five interceptions he had were converted into 17 points by the Panthers on the other side. James Bradberry, with two, Ross Cockrell, Luke Kuechly, and Javien Elliot, with one each made this day one pick each of the worst for Winston in his pro career.
Also, while being sacked, he lost 35 yards and additionally fumbled the ball twice. All in all, an awful experience for Winston.
“I’m just keep on playing, keep on getting better and come back to work when we play against the Tennessee Titans and be better,” Winston stated at the press conference.
On the other side, Kyle Allen had a nice game with 227 yards, 20 for 32, and two touchdown passes. His performance was steady, and he really looked comfortable in the field of Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
One other guy felt comfortable, too, and his name is Christian McCaffrey. Although he collected just 57 yards from the scrimmage, he had two touchdowns, one of them spectacular during the middle of the second period. He received the pass from Allen and avoided three defensive players before reaching the endzone following a 25-yard burst. Prior to that, he scored an opening TD in the first period to give his team a 10-0 lead.
Curtis Samuel also had two scores. Once McCaffrey lost his energy, the 23-year old wide receiver took over the wheel and added two touchdowns in the second half, one on the ground and second through the air.
Ronald Jones and Dare Ogunbowale added one rushing TD each for the Buccs, while Cameron Brate did that after a 10-yard pass from Winston.
The only bright spot in Tampa Bay’s team was Chris Goodwin, with 10 receptions for 151 yards. Mike Evans had 96 from nine catches.
Meanwhile, the Panthers were rational as the posted 268 yards. Compared to 407 by the Bucs, it seems low, but they didn’t have to work more due to the superb defensive team who harassed the rival. The one guy who was very motivated to show his abilities as Gerald McCoy, the former Buccaneer. He had 2 1/2 sacks against his former team.
“Those guys are unbelievable,” McCaffrey said of his defense. “I felt like every single time they were on offense our defense had a chance to get a turnover or a sack. Our D-line is pretty vicious. … They did an unbelievable job all day. It’s nice when you have a defense like that.”
Up next, the Panthers have one week of rest, and after that, go to San Francisco to face the currently unbeaten 49ers and Jimmy Garoppolo. Ron Rivera’s guys are coming back to Charlotte a week afterward and wait for the Titans. That could be one of the most important games of the season for this crew.
Meanwhile, Tampa Bay has another game on the road, also against Tennessee, also after a week off. Following that, they head to Seattle to face the Seahawks before getting back home.