TAMPA – The Tampa Bay Buccaneers battled against the Carolina Panthers (1-10) at a rainy Raymond James Stadium on Sunday afternoon. The Bucs are hoping some home cooking will help them after losing two in a row on the road, and the struggling Panthers seem to be just the ticket.
The Panthers come into Tampa with a struggling rookie quarterback, Bryce Young, and having just fired head coach Frank Reich, with only one win in their record this year.
In the first quarter, after a three-and-out, Baker Mayfield managed to lead Tampa Bay on an 8-play drive for 57 yards, ending with Rashad White punching it in with a 1-yard touchdown run for a 7-0 score.
The Bucs were also battling injuries in their linebacking corps, with KJ Britt going down with a back injury.
Carolina retaliated in the second with a 23-yard field goal for a 7-3 score.
In the third quarter, the Panthers’ Young threw a pass to Jonathan Mingo for a 21-yard gain, taking them to the Tampa 9-yard line. They managed to punch it in with a 1-yard run by Chuba Hubbard for a 10-7 lead.
Baker Mayfield hit a streaking Mike Evans for a 75-yard strike for a touchdown to take a 14-10 lead late in the third quarter. Evans broke loose from the coverage and outran the Carolina defense to dive from the five-yard line, keeping the ball in his right hand and staying inbounds for the touchdown.
The score gave the Bucs a 14-10 lead and reinvigorated Evans’ reputation as an all-time great receiver. Evans was celebrated during the game for having his 10th straight season of over 1,000-yard receiving seasons.
In the 4th quarter, Chris Godwin sealed a seven-play drive for a 19-yard touchdown pass and run, putting Tampa Bay up 21-10. The play was at the end of a 67-yard drive that took only seven plays.
Young and the Panthers pushed back and drove 75 yards for a touchdown, with Young running in a two-point conversion, bringing them up to a 21-18 deficit, only a field goal away from evening things out.
The Bucs managed to hold Carolina off and take the win, securing second place in the current NFC South division, while Carolina, licking its wounds, aims to capture their second win of the season.
Tampa Bay heads up to face the first-place Atlanta Falcons next week and, with a win, would be tied for the lead in the division.
The Panthers head to New Orleans to face the Saints.”