This was a crucial win for the Panthers, considering their next opponent is the Falcons. This win also put the Panthers over .500 for the first time since their 2008 season, the last time they made it to the playoffs. Week 8 was another display of disciplined football by the Panthers over a division rival, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The Buccaneers have had a horrible start to the 2013 NFL season. It started with the quarterback position. Former Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman had a huge impact on the team. He wasn’t happy and wanted out. It showed in his performance as he threw at least one interception every game and completed less than 50 percent of his passes each week.
Once he was released from the team, the issue became his replacement. Freeman was replaced by rookie Mike Glennon. Glennon didn’t have any turnovers, although their were a few fumbles due to low snaps from the center. At times, he looked like a veteran in the way he scanned the field and the confidence he had in the pocket. However, he still made many rookie mistakes as he over-threw open receivers. He is a work in progress with great potential.
The Buccaneers have also been plagued with devastating injuries. Star running back Doug Martin did not play due to a shoulder injury sustained the previous week. This was another big blow to the offense. Martin was a huge part of their young offense last year, scoring a total of 12 touchdowns as a rookie. The Buccaneers really didn’t have a strong secondary back up rusher to rely on.
With Martin out, the Bucs had to rely more heavily on the pass game. His injury was a huge setback to an already struggling offense.
On the defensive side, the Buccaneers had safety Dashon Goldson out of the game. This was his first season with the Bucs. Goldson is a strong, experienced player who knows how to make plays on the ball. His knee injury kept him on the sidelines for the game against the Panthers. Another issue with the secondary is Darelle Revis. Revis played against the Panthers, but he still isn’t 100 percent.
The Buccaneers paid a hefty price for the star corner back. Revis said since his knee injury that his health is at about 80 percent. Against the Panthers, Revis was assigned to wide receiver Steve Smith for most of the game. It was a good battle and Revis held his own, but there were a few plays he could have made if he was completely healthy.
The Panthers have injuries of their own, but have more depth on their roster than the Buccaneers. The Panthers really put the pressure on Glennon and forced him to make plays he wasn’t ready for. The Panthers’ wide receivers also did a good job exploiting the Bucs’ secondary when they played zone coverage. Overall, it was a good win for the Panthers.
The Buccaneers have a long season ahead of them. They need to have patience and keep working at their issues, and eventually they will bounce back and become a threat for their opponents.