1) This became obvious by the Third Quarter, and the Fourth merely confirmed it. The Bucs came out totally unprepared to do anything on offense and unprepared to stop anything on defense. The Bucs were flat in executing plays and a step too slow most of the time.
There were still too many run calls up the middle.
There were too many stunts called for our defensive line to maintain pressure on Cam Newton. And it never occurred to anyone to have someone - David, cough - spy on Cam to prevent him from scrambling for first downs or even 45-yard gains.
This is all on the coaches.
Let me restate what's been the obvious thing for the Bucs to do this season. Fire Schiano.
2) One drive to underline just how the Bucs' day went: middle of the Second Quarter, Panthers up 10-6, we get the kickoff at the 20. First play: short pass to FB Lorig for a loss. Second play: run play by Rainey to regain what we lost. Third play: Glennon gets sacked on a play where the Bucs were caught with an Illegal Shift, which the Panthers declined. Fourth play, punting out of the shadow of our end zone... WE GET NAILED FOR A DELAY OF GAME when the obvious thing was to get the punting unit out there and punting. The team just didn't get lined up in time, like Schiano and Co. were mulling their options on a 4th and 19. /headdesk x100
Clock management remains one of the bugaboos for this team.
3) Our team tried, once in awhile, to actually do something. To actually stay in the game. And kudos to the two guys who snagged INTs in CB Tandy and LB David. But overall, this Bucs team underplayed. They played like the Bucs usually do when playing a West Coast game in December: lethargic. Totally out of it.
3a) To be fair to K Rian Lindell, you're not the FG kicker we want. But you DID get a 53-yarder just inside the post, dinging inward to make it a 3-point score. So I'll cut you some slack today.
4) Goat of the game. He's a rookie, he's had a good run during the 3-game win streak, but Jebus, Glennon, what the HELL was that fumblerooksi out of your throwing grip? What the hell happened there man? That killed us on a decent scoring try inside the red zone.
5) Stats of the game: Third down conversion for the Bucs. We went 1 for 10. ONE THIRD DOWN CONVERSION the whole game. That is a huge sign of failed drives, of an inability to get the ball into scoring chances, of giving the defense some time to rest.
5a) Two trips into the red zone. Zero touchdowns. Panthers had five trips into red zones: two touchdowns. That's because the Panthers have a gameplan for what to do in goalline situations.
5b) Bad stat for the day. Only ONE Tackle for Loss for the Bucs today. More often than not the Panthers were getting positive yards on their offense.
6) In other NFL News: Detroit actually had a winning Thanksgiving game this year. Will wonders ever cease?
7) In college football news: HOLY SH-TF-CK DID YOU WATCH THE FINAL MINUTE OF THE AUBURN ALABAMA GAME OMG OMG OMG #FireSchiano OMG
My mom would like to say WAR EAGLE to y'all. And my God, two crazy game-ending wins. Unbelievable.
7a) We are looking at a Florida State - Ohio State BCS title game. Unless crazy things happen during the ACC and Big 10 championship games.
7b) Still think Northern Illinois has a case to play the BCS title game. I mean, THEY'RE UNBEATEN.
7c) So Florida has one of its worst seasons ever. I think this is overall for the best. Gator fans need to remember not every season is a guaranteed bowl year.
8) In hockey news, Lightning still up and down, but in the playoff race early.
9) In baseball news, um, the Rays still have David Price, which I think is a good thing.
10) Next week: Bucs come home to an empty stadium because who the hell wants to watch the 4-7 Bills?