Sports

Top takeaways from Bucs' 42-28 loss vs. Panthers

Top takeaways from Bucs' 42-28 loss vs. Panthers

Carolina Panthers' Devin Funchess (17) stretches the ball out as Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Adarius Taylor (53) tackles him in the first half of an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Nov. 4, 2018. "He did some really good things and (I) really was pleased with the effort we got from James".

Fitzpatrick got the starting nod after Winston turned the ball over 11 times in the previous 3 1/2 games after returning from a league-imposed three-game suspension.

While their performance on the defensive side of the ball has been paltry, the Bucs are ranked No. 1 in both total offense (476.6 ypg) and passing yards (376.3 ypg). The 35 points were the most the team has ever scored at halftime and one point shy of the best half ever - that was a 36-point second half in 2002.

The Buccaneers came back with four touchdowns between the third and fourth quarters, but a call reversal on one of those and another Panthers TD left the score at 42-28.

Newton said while a lot of people think Carolina's offensive line is made up of "misfits and undesirables", he added "those guys have been playing lights out". Defensive end Julius Peppers batted down three passes. Last week, in Cincinnati, he entered the game trailing 27-9 and rallied the Bucs in the second half, tying the game at 34.

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"It's frustrating, but that's on the players". But as I said, that's part of playing young guys. This Sunday's loss to the Panthers is merely a microcosm of Koetter's failures as head coach. Mistakes on offense and special teams contributed to falling by 28 in the second quarter. "On those five straight drives where they scored, on three of those drives we put them in awful field position with an interception, two sacks, a punt return and a fake punt".

Rookie cornerback Donte Jackson also held veteran receiver Desean Jackson, Tampa Bay's No. 2 guy, to two catches for 32 yards and also had an interception that helped seal the Panthers' vicory.

"We know we have the talent, it's just we can't keep digging ourselves in these holes, especially on the road", Fitzpatrick said.

A Special teams: This group is usually consistent, and today was no different. "I put the team behind with that one, and they [went] on to score".


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