Panthers cruise to eighth straight win, beat Bucs

Getty Images

Panthers coach Ron Rivera knows when to hold ’em, and knows when to fold ’em.

The newly aggressive Panthers coach went for a decisive touchdown just before halftime, but kicked a field goal on a fourth-and-goal in the fourth quarter.

Both were the right calls, as the Panthers built a decisive lead, then were just padding it in a 27-6 thrashing of the Buccaneers.

The win was the eighth in a row for the Panthers, setting up an intriguing battle for first place in the NFC South with New Orleans next Sunday night.

They did it on a day in which things weren’t perfect. They still didn’t run it as effectively as they’d like, and they let the Bucs move the ball early. But Rivera has developed a feel for his team, and they’re playing with confidence even without some key parts.

The Panthers need to get defensive end Charles Johnson back for his pressure in the two remaining Saints games. But so far, their secondary full of spare parts has held. It will be tested next week as it hasn’t been, but they have surprised thus far.

9 responses to “Panthers cruise to eighth straight win, beat Bucs

  1. The Panthers are looking like the best team to challenge Seattle for the NFC championship because they play the same physical style that they do, and Cam Newton is playing at a high level right now. The 49ers can’t be counted out, but Kaepernick will have to get a whole lot better over this last month of the season to get into that conversation as of right now. The Saint defense and their Jekyll and Hyde personality when away from New Orleans makes me question if they can get into that conversation, but we’ll see on Monday what they have.

  2. The thing I like most about the Panthers is when Newton looks for a kid in the stands after a touchdown and gives him the ball. Now that’s real class and something the kid will never forget for his entire life. Other players should take a lesson from this. I’m rooting for them.

  3. The trolls might end up being right. But it has been a most welcome relief from the last 4 years. @newjerseygiants: That is what sports is all about, and thank you for pointing that out. The G-MEN were my team before the Panthers came to town.

  4. In a way I’m glad the Bucs lost because, no disrespect to the coaching staff but I think we could be much better next year and I hope they all find employment elsewhere.

Leave a Reply