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Panthers forget they’re a running team, Bucs take advantage

Carolina Panthers v Tampa Bay Buccaneers Getty Images

In the early days of the NFC South, the Buccaneers and Panthers played games that more closely resembled street fights.

Those days may be back, and the Bucs got the upper hand in the first one this year.

Greg Schiano spent the offseason preaching physical and tough, and his guys bloodied the collective noses of the Panthers Sunday in a 16-10 win.

The Bucs did just enough on offense, with quarterback Josh Freeman playing a clean first half, throwing a touchdown, and making sure not to turn the ball over.

That was enough, as the Bucs defense harrassed the Panthers into mistakes. Cam Newton was 23-of-33 passing for 303 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions.

But more problematic was the fact the Panthers ran just 13 times for 10 yards. Whether Jonathan Stewart was out or not, that’s embarrassing. It tied a franchise low for rushing yards in a game set in 2000, when George Seifert made no attempt to run.

Of course, neither did Panthers offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski Sunday. In the absence of Stewart, DeAngelo Williams got just six attempts.

But don’t turn this into anything other than the Bucs punching them in the face.

Defensive tackle Gerald McCoy in particular was a problem, setting up shop in the Panthers backfield. The Panthers like the potential of rookie left guard Amini Silatolu, but he was overmatched in his first NFC South game.

The Panthers own defense played better after they were a liability last year. Linebacker Thomas Davis made several plays in his comeback from three ACL tears, and Jon Beason was back on the field after missing most of the year with a torn Achilles.

These two teams are similarly built, and should have plenty of games like this one over the next few years. But the Panthers need to get back to their roots if they want to compete.

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27 Responses to “Panthers forget they’re a running team, Bucs take advantage”
  1. voiceofreasonsays says: Sep 9, 2012 7:33 PM

    Said it in an earlier Newton article…defenses will expose Cam after an offseason of gametape…

  2. houseofbacon says: Sep 9, 2012 7:34 PM

    Finally won a game again.

    Feels good man.

  3. bucrightoff says: Sep 9, 2012 7:35 PM

    It’s amazing what a different defense this team is with McCoy. He truly is the engine that makes them go. Offense was solid but needs to improve, but overall how can one complain too much after 10 straight loses?

  4. shian11 says: Sep 9, 2012 7:36 PM

    Just left game!! How about the Bucs defense set a franchise record allowing 10 yards rushing!! How about Claiborne, McCoy, bennant, David, foster, Barron shut down and attacked and hit cam over and over and over again!! Go Bucs! That headline is aweful

  5. edavidberg says: Sep 9, 2012 7:36 PM

    It is amazing a so-called professional coordinator would abandon the running game with DeAngelo Williams and Cam Newton on his squad.

  6. onebucplace says: Sep 9, 2012 7:37 PM

    The Bucs D played an amazing game but I was wondering all day what Carolina was doing since they were playing a Bucs team that might have had one of the all-time worst run defenses last year. On offense the Bucs need to script their entire game – for the first 20 plays or so they did an amazing job, then they became increasingly predictable and overall the playcalling was extremely poor outside of the first 1 and a half drives. But I never figured on the Bucs winning this game so great job Schiano. Also for the record I would like to point out that Ray Perkins won his opener 48-10.

  7. panthersftw says: Sep 9, 2012 7:39 PM

    just an all around pathetic performance by the panthers. the offensive line looked like it was comprised entirely of wayne hunter clones.

  8. pb420 says: Sep 9, 2012 7:41 PM

    Great game for the Bucs out of the gate!! Finally having a run game for clock management makes a huge difference. And you can’t say enough for the defense, that was a statement game.
    Was surprised at the quickness of Carolina’s D, looks improved from last year, and I think the draft pick for Kuechly was a good move for the middle.
    Cam and friends are always a threat, particularly his connection to Smith. Chudzinski has a lot to work with, and I think he was calling good from the box. Missing Stewart hurt it seems. Good luck next week Panther fans.
    Where are the Schiano haters and trolls calling for the Bucs to move now?! Buc fans have plenty to look forward to!! Go Bucs!! Fire the cannons!!

  9. avanderlay says: Sep 9, 2012 7:55 PM

    Forgot theyre a rushing team is a vast understatement. Bucs held them to 10 rushing yards total. Ludicrous.

  10. tpa43 says: Sep 9, 2012 7:56 PM

    Wow! huge upset in week 1!

  11. mightyleemoon says: Sep 9, 2012 8:15 PM

    Figures the media would say that the Panthers beat themselves as opposed to giving Tampa credit for improvement.

  12. wjmoffatt says: Sep 9, 2012 8:15 PM

    The biggest thing that went unnoticed was we actually had a back in there that could pass block! Love having Doug Martin. And how about Mark Barron, the rookie already looked like a Pro Bowler, knocking guys out and making incredible pass knock downs.

  13. meytonpanning says: Sep 9, 2012 8:22 PM

    The title of this article is perfect.

  14. panthers34 says: Sep 9, 2012 8:24 PM

    Not sure if Newton was “exposed”, any QB needs running game support. Hats of to Schiano, I had doubts being that he was a college coach. How big is next weeks Panthers-Saints game?

  15. glazerh8er says: Sep 9, 2012 8:32 PM

    How about Aqib Talib causing one of the interceptions and blocking a punt. The Bucs held “Superman” to 10 points. Mark my words, this is NOT because Carolina is terrible. It’s because Raheem Morris is a terrible HC and got lucky as hell when we won 10 games in 10′ (I think 4 were miracle Freeman comebacks). Schiano is the real deal. We are good.

  16. bucforever says: Sep 9, 2012 8:37 PM

    A win is a win! On to the Giants! The Bucs should really try to make a statement there. Open up that offense and show the defending champs the “new ” Bucs. GO BUCS

  17. darrelb says: Sep 9, 2012 8:42 PM

    Maybe Cam isn’t the second coming.

    Note to Jon Beason: Alex Smith won again today.

  18. snookau says: Sep 9, 2012 8:57 PM

    Amazing how you can be called “Superman” but have a 6-11 career win-loss record.

  19. flickaboogie says: Sep 9, 2012 8:59 PM

    Great game. Too bad nobody in Tampa saw it.

  20. milkmandanimal says: Sep 9, 2012 9:22 PM

    McCoy lived in the backfield, Barron made some great plays, Lavonte David was everywhere, and Ronde Barber is still Ronde. Defense played great, and Doug Martin turned in on when he was really needed. Great game.

  21. finsphan says: Sep 9, 2012 9:56 PM

    but I thought cam was the greatest qb to ever play the game and he could win the games all by himself! what a joke, guy got exposed last year after game 5 when defenses stopped stacking the box. just line any other running qb, can’t think fast enough, relies on his legs and is a turnover machine.

  22. sportsmeccabi says: Sep 9, 2012 10:01 PM

    Can’t block, can’t win.

  23. jeagan1999 says: Sep 9, 2012 10:05 PM

    Just got back from the game and the Bucs D was living in the Panthers backfield all night…I dont remember the last time I saw so many tackles for a loss! Ronde had a pick, a sack and a couple tfl’s…Lavonte David lead the team in tackles…he was all over the field, and the Dline hit Newton all night long. On offense freeman was efficient if unspectacular, Jackson and Clark had some big catches and rookie Doug Martin was MONEY! Excited to see what these Bucs can do now that they have a real Coach!

  24. magicbucs says: Sep 10, 2012 12:31 AM

    Too bad nobody from the bay area to Orlando could see the game on tv. C’mon buc fans, full that stadium!!!!

    Go bucs!!!!

  25. keeppounding says: Sep 10, 2012 6:45 AM

    Well geez it’s hard to win when you have to beat the refs too. That phantom holding call on Greg Olson on 3rd and 4 or how about the early contact on the receiver when barber picked it off? Very hard to overcome that bs. Bring the real refs back please

  26. freemanmvp says: Sep 10, 2012 11:02 AM

    We stopped the run early and got the lead.Panthers were playing from behind the whole game.They could not get the run going and time was running out so Cam got to pad his passing yards but the Bucs dominated the high powered Panthers Offense all day.Cam would have had a good year not great year in 2011 if it weren’t for a bad 2011 Bucs team.Cam had 8 TD;s against the Bucs last year in 2 games.Time to come back down to earth Panther Fans and realize that Cam padded his stats last year against a bad Bucs team.Not this year!!!

  27. Foresight2012 says: Sep 10, 2012 4:11 PM

    When your O-Line gives up 3 sacks and the other teams front 7 has 9 TFL(Tackle For Loss) you’re not beating too many teams in this league or any other for that matter. I don’t Cam Newton was “exposed” in any way in this game. Now the Panthers Offensive Line is a different story.

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