This was a solid start for a new coaching regime as the young Tampa Bay Buccaneers showed they want to win now. In come the Carolina Panthers a team that was on the rise and was predicted to make a possible push for a 2012 playoff spot. These Buccaneers had different ideas and wasted no time taking control of this game quickly running out to a 10-0 lead in the first quarter. They came out with an aggressive defense and an offense that when given their first possession drove down the field 13 plays-80 yards on a touchdown drive that used up 7:20 off the clock. The Buccaneers set a tone for a very hard fought 16-10 victory in front of an excited crowd at Raymond James Stadium.
- Doug Martin 1st NFL start was a success – 24Car-95Yds/4Rec-23Yds –
Being a big part of the offense on the ground and making the “catch of the game” showing his incredible receiving ability out of the backfield
- Gerald McCoy was disruptive all game constantly pushing his man into the back field creating havoc on Cam Newton and his offense. It may not show in tackles (2-both were tackles for losses and recorded 1 sack)
- OG Ted Larsen was solid in his replacement of injured OG Davin Joseph
- SS Mark Barron showed why the Buccaneers wanted this young man with a few bone-crushing hits. And a huge pass deflected away on a critical 3rd down play when Carolina was trying to gain momentum and take the lead
- Lavonte David – was the leader of this team making the defensive calls and making sure everyone was in position And leading this team in tackles for the game (6)
- Mason Foster played very well and had 3 tackles for losses- totaling 5 tackles (Tied for 2nd on the team)
- Josh Freeman played effective and managed the game with no turnovers. His best quarter was the 1st quarter throwing for 85yds-1TD
- Buccaneers defense only allowed 10 yards rushing for the game-(Note: Carolina had -1 rushing yards at end of 1st half)
- Ronde Barber had an interception in his 200th consecutive start for the Buccaneers
- Vincent Jackson was targeted 10x and finished with 4Rec-47Yds (Had a big gain called back on a penalty)
Concerns/Need for Improvement
- After passing for 85 yards/1TD Josh Freeman finished with only 138 yards passing. That’s 53 yards for the next 3 quarters. (Josh did have a huge completion to help end game on critical 3rd-3 late in 4th quarter-completed to Vincent Jackson) More balance and consistency from the passing game throughout the game is critical against better teams
- Defense needs to be better on TE coverage something that will be exploited in the future if not corrected. (Olsen 7 targets- 6Rec-56Yds-9.3 yards per catch)
- Dallas Clark more utilized in offense just 1 reception for 33 yards (1 Target)
- ROT Jeremy Trueblood needs to pick-up his game thought he had struggled at times causing penetration into the backfield
Play of the Game
Mark Barron dove to deflect a pass to Louis Murphy on 3rd – 9 on the Tampa 48. It could have been a huge gain but the Panthers were forced to punt which was “blocked” that lead to a Buccaneer FG increasing lead to 16-7.
All in all the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a team played a tremendous game and accomplished many key factors needed to win this game. They came out with enthusiasm and did what they needed to start this season in the right direction.
-Richard J Dudkiewicz Jr (Twitter @Rook33)