Buccaneers vs. Panthers Half-Time Update

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers can't hang with the Carolina Panthers so far, as the Panthers lead 14 to 6.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are getting beat in their own stadium, on Thursday Night Football, in front of a national audience, by their division rival. The Carolina Panthers have four offensive drives, and two touchdowns. The Buccaneers have four and two field goals. That's not good enough to win, but the game isn't over yet.

It is still just a one-score game and the Tampa Bay offense looks fairly decent, at least gaining consistent yardage on a stout Panthers defense. They just need to start finishing drives. On the positive front, Mike James looks like the real deal, rushing for 36 yards on eight carries and adding a pair of catches for 18 yards. All of that against a normally tough run defense.

The defense is struggling, though. Darrelle Revis is following Steve Smith around, but still isn't in man coverage much, and the Bucs gave up two long scoring drives early in the game. The Bucs can't get much pressure on Cam Newton, which has been the biggest problem so far and has shown up on third down, where they've managed just one stop out of six opportunities.

The Bucs can win this game, but the defense is going to need to find some third-down stops and the offense needs to find a way to finish. Can they do that in the second half?

Here's your third quarter open thread.

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