Just about everyone was expecting the Panthers’ 2016 season to go one of two ways: really good or really bad. Last night somewhat solidified the latter. Carolina dropped a 17-14 game to Tampa Bay on Monday Night thanks to a last-second field goal.
Panthers QB Cam Newton had high hopes of being ready for the Monday night game, but concussion protocol said no. Newton was hit by linebacker Deion Jones from the Falcons in Week 4 and left the game in the fourth quarter, allowing back-up QB Derek Anderson to finish the game.
In Monday night’s game, Panther fans were confident considering that history shows Anderson is capable of beating the Buccaneers. But the slippery slope the Panthers have been on for so long finally gave out and sent them down to the bottom of the NFC south.
Anderson wasn’t too shabby in the beginning of the third quarter, linking with Greg Olsen. Olsen notched
nine catches and 181 yards, and helped Carolina score on that drive for a 7-6 lead. The two touchdowns were ran in by Cameron Artis-Payne. Payne went for 85 yards, and Anderson threw for 278 yards at 64 percent completion rate.
Tampa Came To Play
The Buccaneers came into this game with just as much at stake. There was a three-way tie for second in their division, and their defensive line, Robert Ayers, Gerald McCoy and Clinton McDonald missed the game. But clearly this didn’t bother the Bucs.
Tampa QB Jameis Winston was 18 for 30 for 219 yards and a touchdown. Of course the defense was very important for this game; wide receiver Mike Evans had a notable touchdown. After a two-point conversion, the offense was on a roll. A costly 15-yard penalty on Kony Ealy helped the Bucs and famous Jameis score a last-minute field goal for the win. A 38-yarder kicked by Roberto Aguayo allowed the Bucs to continue on to week 6 as 2-3. They face 1-4 San Francisco on Sunday.
Ron Rivera isn’t dwelling on the past. He’s certainly eager to take on the 1-3 Saints on Sunday. Carolina is hoping to become the first team since the Steelers in the 1970s to make the playoffs after a 1-4 record.