A behind-the-scenes look at the Buccaneers' Week 8 matchup with the Panthers.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers lost to the Carolina Panthers on Sunday afternoon, 17-3, dropping their fourth straight decision. Tampa Bay's only points came on a 41-yard field goal by Patrick Murray in the third quarter. Murray has kicked in three games this season after replacing veteran Nick Folk; he was also the Buccaneers' kicker for the entire 2014 season before suffering a knee injury in 2015.
After hitting on 20 of 24 field goal tries in his first go-around with the Buccaneers, Murray has returned with a 3-3 start through his first three games in 2017. Overall, he is now 23 for 27 on field goal attempts as a Buccaneer, and that makes him the most accurate kicker in team history among players with at least 25 tries.
Highest Career Field Goal Percentage, Buccaneers (minimum 25 attempts)
|Patrick Murray||2014, '17||23||27||85.2%|
|Connor Barth||2009-13, '15||114||136||83.8%|
The Buccaneers' offense finished Sunday's game with a season-low 279 yards, and its 194 net passing yards tied for its lowest output of the year. Tampa Bay's passing attack also finished with that net total in a season-opening win over Chicago, then topped 300 yards for each of the next five weeks. That was the longest streak of 300-net-yard passing games in franchise history. The Buccaneers also tied a team record with four straight games with 400-plus net yards of offense from Weeks 4-7 but saw that run snapped against Carolina.
The Buccaneers did have 210 gross passing yards and are still ranked second in the NFL with 295.4 net passing yards per game. The two top contributors to that yardage total are wide receiver Mike Evans (39-519-4) and tight end Cameron Brate (31-405-4). Brate ranks fifth in the NFL in receiving yards among tight ends.
Most Receiving Yards, NFL Tight Ends, 2017
|Rob Gronkowski||New England||34||509||15.0||5|
|Travis Kelce||Kansas City||37||423||11.4||3|
|Cameron Brate||Tampa Bay||31||405||13.1||4|
Brate's 64 yards in Sunday's game against the Panthers marked his fifth straight game with at least 60 yards. He is the first tight end in franchise history to have 60+ receiving yards in five straight games. With 405 yards through seven games, Brate is on pace to break the Buccaneers' single-season receiving yardage mark for tight ends. Below are the top five seasons for Tampa Bay tight ends, with Brate's 2017 projected total included for comparison:
Most Receiving Yards, Single Season, Tight Ends, Buccaneers
( Projected 16-game totals based on seven-game pace.)
Brate's nine-touchdown projection would also represent a new Buccaneer record for tight ends*. He already owns a share of that record with his eight touchdowns in 2016, matching the mark first set by Jimmie Giles in 1985.
Evans was the Buccaneers' second-leading receiver on Sunday, with 60 yards on six catches. He ranks 10th in the NFL with 519 receiving yards and is already more than halfway to his fourth consecutive 1,000-yard season. If Evans eclipses the 1,000-yard mark in 2017 he would become just the third player in NFL history to begin his career with four such campaigns in a row. Cincinnati's A.J. Green (2011-14) and Hall of Famer Randy Moss (1998-2001) are the only current members of that exclusive club. The New York Giants' Odell Beckham also has an active streak of three straight 1,000-yard receiving seasons but is currently on injured reserve.
Evans would obviously be the first Buccaneer to begin his career that way, but he would also break the team record for most consecutive 1,000-yard receiving seasons regardless of what point the player was in his career.*
*Most Consecutive Seasons with 1,000+ Receiving Yards, Buccaneers
|**Totals During Streak:**|
Odds and Ends:
- Tampa Bay's 2,636 net yards and 2,068 passing yards are both the highest totals the team has ever recorded through the first seven games of a season. Quarterback Jameis Winston has 1,853 passing yards, also the most by any Buccaneer through the first seven games of a campaign. He is on pace for 4,235 passing yards, which would break the franchise record of 4,090 he set last year.
- Though the Buccaneers' offense wasn't as explosive as usual on Sunday against the Panthers, it did produce 14 plays of 10 or more yards. Though seven games, the Buccaneers have 114 plays of 10-plus yards, the third most in the NFL.
- Tampa Bay's defense batted down seven of Cam Newton's 32 passes on Sunday. Vernon Hargreaves and Ryan Smith were responsible for two of those apiece. That's the first time this season that both of the Buccaneers' starting cornerbacks finished a game with multiple passes defensed.