Panthers and Buccaneers: Live Game Grades and Analysis for Carolina
Final Score: Carolina 31, Tampa Bay 13
|Position Unit||First-Half Grade||Final Grade|
vs. Buccaneers Week 8
Game Analysis for Carolina
Pass Offense: Quarterback Cam Newton showed on Thursday just how far he has come as a pocket passer. The third-year quarterback was poised and patient, even in the face of a steady pass rush.
Of course, Newton was able to use his mobility to move the pocket, but his ability to stand and deliver was impressive nonetheless.
Despite being victimized by three sacks, Newton finished the game with 221 yards and two touchdowns. He was 23-of-32 passing for the night.
Run Offense: The Panthers running game got going early and continued to dominate on the ground throughout the entire game.
Newton led the team with 50 yards and a touchdown on just 11 carries, while DeAngelo Williams added 43 yards and a score on eight attempts.
Pass Defense: Rookie quarterback Mike Glennon put forth a respectable performance against the Panthers defense. However, Carolina did an excellent job of creating pressure, forcing throws and limiting yards after the catch.
Glennon attempted an astounding 50 passes on the night, completing 30 for 275 yards and a touchdown.
Run Defense: The Buccaneers were able to find some success on the ground. However, Carolina was able to negate Tampa’s ability to run the ball by jumping out to an early lead and forcing the Buccaneers into passing situations.
More importantly, the Panthers never allowed any of the Buccaneers backs to break free and change the course of the game with a big play.
Rookie Mike James gained 39 yards on the ground, but only carried the ball 10 times.
Special Teams: Carolina forced a turnover on a third-quarter punt, which was definitely the special teams highlight of the night.
As usual, kicker Graham Gano was perfect on the night, hitting four extra points and one field goal.
Coaching: Head coach Ron Rivera put together a nearly flawless game plan for this divisional matchup.
The run-oriented, but balanced offense kept the Buccaneers a step behind all game. Meanwhile, defensive coordinator Sean McDermott’s unit played an aggressive, yet disciplined brand of football all evening.
While the Panthers did give up some yards to the Buccaneers offense, they took away the big play and kept Tampa out of the end zone for nearly all four quarters.
First-Half analysis for Carolina
Pass Offense: Quarterback Cam Newton’s mobility covers for some deficiencies along the offensive line. While Newton was pressured frequently in the first half, the passing offense did not significantly suffer because of it.
Newton was sacked twice, but managed to complete 13 of his 18 pass attempts for 149 yards and a touchdown.
If not for a couple of dropped passes by the Carolina receivers, Newton’s numbers would be even more impressive.
Run Offense: Coming into the game, the Panthers rushing offense ranked seventh in the league (130.2 yards per game) and their ability to run with the best of them was on display in the first half.
Between Newton, running back DeAngelo Williams and fullback Mike Tolbert, the Panthers found a variety of ways to test the Buccaneers run defense in the first half.
Tolbert led the team in the first half with 27 yards on just three carries.
Pass Defense: The Panthers have been mostly successful in containing rookie quarterback Mike Glennon.
Glennon was able to complete 11 of his 16 attempts for 124 yards but was unable to find the end zone.
Run Defense: Tampa Bay had found moderate success running against the Carolina defensive front. However, the Panthers have done a good job of preventing plays big enough to get the Buccaneers into the end zone.
Mike James led the Buccaneers in the first half with 36 yards on eight carries.
Special Teams: Punt returner Ted Ginn was ruled down by contact on an apparent fumble in the second quarter. Otherwise, the Buccaneers may have been in line for an easy score.
Fortunately, the fumble was ruled to not have occurred and the Panthers made no other major mistakes in the first half.
Coaching: Head coach Ron Rivera has found a successful formula for his team.
As has been the case most of the season, the Panthers have found success with a run-oriented offensive attack, stout defense and an ability to play with an early lead.
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