TAMPA, Fla. (FNN SPORTS) – With Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Jameis Winston not at 100% due to a shoulder injury coupled with Carolina Panthers’ defense, the Buccaneers fell short against the Panthers at Raymond James Stadium Sunday.
It was an ugly match that, to Tampa Bay’s credit, saw their defense successfully stingy, only allowing Carolina 17 points. Tampa Bay forced Carolina to make a 17-play, 82-yard scoring drive with Carolina running back Jonathan Stewart making a one-yard rush for their first touchdown.
Carolina’s defense, however, was no less stingy, only allowing three points and forcing three turnovers: two interceptions and a fumble. Conversely, Tampa Bay safety Chris Conte nailed his first interception of the season at the start of the second half on the Tampa Bay 36-yard line.
Carolina’s next score came from kicker Graham Gano’s 28-yard field goal, and they scored their second touchdown in the fourth quarter with a 25-yard touchdown pass from QB Cam Newton to wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin on a third down–and that after Newton rushed for 20 yards himself.
Tampa Bay didn’t get on the board until the third quarter, when kicker Patrick Murray made a 41-yard field goal at the end of an eight-play, 31-yard scoring drive.
QB Jameis Winston was frank about the game’s outcome. “Three turnovers by me, you can’t win like that, especially against a team like them,” he said during the post-game press conference. “They have a great defense, but you turn the ball over three times, you’re not going to win. You score three points, you’re not going to win.”
Mellissa Thomas is Florida National News Editor. | email@example.com