The Tampa Bay Buccaneers hosted a primetime matchup against the division-rival Carolina Panthers on Thursday night. Bucs fans arrived in their pirate garb to celebrate the Bucsparilla game and NFL Network was in town to broadcast the first game of NFL's Week Eight. The official Twitter page of the kicked off the night's festivities, getting people psyched for the TNF matchup.
NFL Network's Warren Sapp was on the field at Raymond James Stadium, one home game prior to his Buccaneers Ring of Honor enshrinement when the Bucs host Monday Night football on November 11th. He and NFL Network got into the spirit of the evening:
An hour and a half prior to kickoff, the teams posted their inactive reports. Inactives included three regular Buccaneers starters and two Panthers defensive starters. Buccaneers.com senior writer and editor makes the announcement:
Bucs' inactives: RB Doug Martin, RB Jeff Demps, S Dashon Goldson, G Patrick Omameh, G Carl Nicks, WR Chris Owusu and DT Derek Landri. — Scott Smith (@ScottSBucs) October 24, 2013
Panthers' IAs: WR Tavarres King, WR Marvin McNutt, CB Josh Thomas, RB Armond Smith, TE Brandon Williams, DT Dwan Edwards & DT Sione Fua. — Scott Smith (@ScottSBucs) October 24, 2013
The Panthers got thing started early, taking their first drive down the field in 4:44. The offense was hitting on all cylinders early, converting on four third down attempts. Lakeland Ledger's Rick Brown calls the scoring play:
The Buccaneers didn't hesitate to answer back to put point of their own on the board. Glennon completed two big passes to put the team in field goal range. Lindell would ultimately drive it home from 47 yards out. @TBBuccaneers, the official twitter of the Bucs, highlights the drive's big plays.
Knox Bardeen, the NFC South writer at Bleacher Report retweeted GBSport's fact about the Buccaneers three-pointer:
Buccaneer LB Lavonte David picked up where he left off last week, getting praise from all corners of social media. After his three-tackle, one-sack first quarter, statistics powerhouse Pro Football Focus posted this about the young Buccaneer star:
Bucs LB Lavonte David is our top 4-3 OLB at 9.4. He also leads in Pass Rush Productivity at 38.4. 19 pressures on 41 rushes — Pro Football Focus (@PFF) October 25, 2013
The Panthers would begin the second quarter with the ball at their own 46-yard line. A long third-down pass from QB Cam Newton to Ted Ginn, Jr. went for 35-yards, setting up the next Caroline score. WDAE 620 AM calls it:
On the next drive, the Buccaneers would be forced to punt. Jonathan Casillas made a big tackle on the return man, who stumbled, losing the football. Casillas jumped on it. But a replay would spoil the Buccaneers luck, as pointed out by Pewter Report:
Ginn fumbles the return and the Bucs recover! However, replay looks like he was down and it is now under review. — Pewter Report (@PewterReport) October 25, 2013
The Panthers would get the ball thanks to the overturned turnover, but a great pass breakup by Darrelle Revis would end it after three plays. TBO.com's Roy Cummings remarks on Revis's game through one half.
Bucs CB Darrelle Revis has looked very good so far tonight. Working a lot of man vs. Steve Smith, which should not be a surprise — Roy Cummings (@RCummingsTBO) October 25, 2013
Getting the ball back, the Bucs put together their second successful drive, highlighted by two pass plays from rookie QB Mike Glennon to Underwood (16 yards) and Mike Williams (12 yards). The drive would end with more cannonfire. Jenna Laine comments:
'Nother field goal for the Bucs. Panthers leading 14-6. 4:03 remaining in the first half. — JennaLaineBucs (@JennaLaineBucs) October 25, 2013
With time winding down in the half, the Panthers were driving. By the two-minute warning, they were in Buccaneer territory. The drive would be spoiled on a sack from an unlikely source, as called by Fox 13's Kevin ODonnell:
Michael Adams with first career sack. — Kevin ODonnell Fox13 (@ODonnellFox13) October 25, 2013
That sack would kill the drive, bringing the teams to halftime. The Bucs trailed by eight, but with promising stats for the young quarterback:
Panthers 205 total yards; Bucs 157. CP 12 first downs; TB 7. Newton 13-of-18 for 149, 1 TD and 2 sacks; Glennon 11-of-16 for 124; 1 sack — Rick Brown (@LedgeronBucs) October 25, 2013
To start the second half, the teams traded punts. On the second Panther drive of the third quarter, the offense converted on a gutsy fourth-down call on the Bucs' 28-yard line. Cam Newton would then scramble for 19-yards. Per the Panthers' official Twitter, two plays later:
In the third quarter, Buccaneers notable plays were hard to come by against the NFL's third-ranked defense, and a powerful offense. Adrian Clayborn added his name to the statsheet with the third sack of Cam Newton on the night. Pewter Report reports:
Adrian Clayborn finally gets to Newton for a seven-yard sack back to the Carolina 15-yard line. third down. — Pewter Report (@PewterReport) October 25, 2013
That sack led to a punt, that would be the second special teams play of the game that would not go in the Bucs' favor. Tom Krasniqi of WDAE calls it:
With the short field, the Panthers would punch in their fourth touchdown within the opening seconds of the fourth quarter on a three-yard Mike Tolbert reception:
The Panthers score on four plays after the recovery on the punt return. Now lead 28-6 in the fourth quarter. — Pewter Report (@PewterReport) October 25, 2013
Tampa Bay took the ball and again couldn't get into gear. They would go for it on fourth down, resulting in an incomplete pass and turnover on downs at their own 16-yard line. The defense would hold strong, limiting Carolina to three:
With 6:14 left in the game, the Buccaneers offense found a rhythm. Mike Glennon hit on nine of 11 passes on the ensuing drive, leading the team down the field for 81 yards, all through the air until finding fellow rookie, TE Tim Wright for the first Bucs TD of the game. Yahoo Sports shares:
The Buccaneers would make things a bit more interesting seconds after the score. Tom Krasniqi again with the surprising call"
The drive would result in a field goal that was nullified due to a penalty on the Panthers, giving the Bucs a first down and another shot at the end zone. With time running down, Glennon failed to complete on fourth down, leading to two Cam Newton kneel downs and the Panther win.