It was far from perfect. But a win is a win, especially against a division rival.
On Sunday, the Buccaneers beat the Panthers for their first win of the season, 31-17.
The defense forced four turnovers. It doesn’t matter much that the Panthers had over 400 yards of offense when you take the ball away four times. Even special teams were a bright spot, with Ryan Succop making all of his kicks, and the unit was not fooled by Carolina’s fake punt in the first half.
Tom Brady looked much better than he did last week. He threw one touchdown and one interception, but it’s worth noting: he had three potential touchdowns dropped. Scotty Miller and LeSean McCoy dropped passes in the end zone. And Cyril Grayson (who?) was all alone down the left sideline – with nobody around him – and the ball bounced right off his helmet. Chris Godwin did not play, so other guys had to step. Mike Evans sure did; he caught Brady’s lone touchdown and had over 100 yards receiving.
Another star was new running back Leonard Fournette. He had over 100 yards on the ground and two touchdowns, including a 46-yarder that iced the game late in the fourth quarter after Carolina made a game of it.
While the headlines may be saying, “Brady gets first win in Tampa,” this game was won by the defense. The Bucs sit alone in second place, pending what happens to the Saints tomorrow night. We’re on to Denver next Sunday.
Photo courtesy: USA Today