This was supposed to be a bit of a shootout, with the Bucs offense unleashed and the Panthers facing one of the worst defenses in the NFL. Instead, it’s been a surprisingly plodding and defense-dominated performance. Neither team has been able to find explosive plays, and have been forced to churn through third down after third down.
The Panthers are doing better there, which is why they have one touchdown—they also forced the lone turnover in the game, knocking the ball out of a scrambling Jameis Winston’s hands. That was the only thing that remotely qualified as a big play in this game, to be honest.
The good news for the Bucs is that their defense seems to be doing better, even with their two starting cornerbacks out. Vernon Hargreaves has made a number of good plays on Devin Funchess, for instance, while free safety Justin Evans has done a great job manning the deep zone.
Hopefully, the second half will bring us a little more excitement. Preferably from the Bucs’ offense, which should be able to muster some kind of score here. Mike Evans hasn’t caught a pass yet, for instance, and DeSean Jackson has been awfully devoid of targets, too.