For the second week in a row on Thursday Night Football, we got a defensive game. It might not have been as low scoring as the 10-3 thriller last week between the Packers and Bears, but the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Carolina Panthers’ game this week wasn’t a whole lot prettier. When the dust finally settled, it was the Bucs’ defense that held off the Panthers on a crucial fourth and 1 from the two yard line in the fourth quarter to win 20-14.
The Panthers tried running a trick play that did not involve Cam Newton where Christian McCaffrey would get to the edge. He got there, but so did the Bucs, knocking him down and forcing a turnover. Jameis Winston played well under center for the Buccaneers, throwing for 208 yards and a touchdown on 16-25. His opposite number, Newton, who did take blame for the loss, went 24-50 for 324 yards. They only got 37 yards on the ground via McCaffrey, such was their willingness to air the ball down the field at every opportunity. Matt Gay’s field goal in the fourth quarter with 2:26 remaining is worth points out as well, as it forced the Panthers to go for more than a field goal of their own as time elapsed.