The Panthers road to respectability just got a lot rougher as they lost the one game of the first five they felt they had the best chance to win. Unlike last season when the Panthers toasted the Bucs the Panthers looked terrible as all phases took turns looking awful. The Bucs on the other hand didn't put up a lot of points but they were able to run the ball well enough and they got pressure on Newton, which the Panthers were unable to do to Josh Freeman.
The offensive line has to be the biggest disappointment as they got abused all day. Rookie LG Amini Silatolu seemed to stand out the most as Gerald McCoy ran over him constantly. The running game was seriously non-existent as the Panthers only ran for...check this out: 10 total yards. Yes, I said that right...10 total yards FOR THE ENTIRE GAME!
QB Cam Newton didn't help his case for avoiding the sophomore slump. Newton went 23 of 33 for 303 yards, TD and 2 INTs which actually sounds much better than it was. His INTs were both the result of bad decisions to throw the ball.
If I try to find a bright spot it has to be the defense playing much better in the 2nd half. Recent pick-up DT Dwan Edwards looked great and LB Thomas Davis showed his doubters he has returned from injury with no issues.
I know we don't have much to pick from but I have a poll for Panther player of the game.
One game does not end our season nor does it mean this team is not better than last year's version. The Bucs played inspired ball and had something to prove. Hats off to them; they might have been more talented then they showed last season. I'm sure we will have some more detailed analysis over the next couple days but for now I'm just going to open it up.
This is Now a Post Game Open Thread!
Panthers Player of the Game vs the Bucs was:
LB Thomas Davis (469 votes)
DT Dwan Edwards (5 tckls Sack) (210 votes)
Steve Smith (7 rec for 107 yds) (337 votes)
WR Brandon LaFell (3 rec 65 yds TD) (50 votes)
LB Jon Beason (9 tckls) (94 votes)
DE Greg Hardy (6 tckls, sack) (51 votes)
1211 total votes