It was ugly, there’s no doubt about it, don’t look now but 0-16 is a real distinct possibility. The team will be hard pressed to win any game on its remaining schedule, couple that with the plan to start Freeman after the bye week and there might not be enough film in the free world to contain the amount of blunders and inept play that team could splice together over it’s remaining 10 games.
Sammie Stroughter – Stroughter continues to impress when he gets an opportunity finishing the game with 3 catches for 65 yards. Filling in as the teams punt / kick returner after Clifton Smith was knocked out by the Panthers Dante’ Wesley on play that is sure to drawl a fine and or suspension, he returned a third quarter kick off 97 yards for a score and the teams longest kick off return for touchdown in franchise history, it also marks the third consecutive year in which the team returned a kick off for a score after failing to do so in the teams first 31 years of existence.
Tanard Jackson – After serving a four game suspension, Jackson returned to the lineup against the Eagles for what many coined as a rusty performance, but turned his second game back into a solid outing and a dominating showing playing down hill forcing a fumble and returning an interception for 26 yards and a score.
Bucs Secondary – The maligned unit held Jake Delhomme to 9-of-17 passing for 65 yards one touchdown and two interceptions, while not allowing a pass play over 16 yards and held the dangerous Steve Smith to one catch for four yards.
Honorable Mention – Aqib Talib – Since week three against the Redskins in which Talib picked off Jason Campbell three times he’s been the team most consistent player on the Bucs allowing a total of 2 catches for five yards against two of the games more dangerous players in DeSean Jackson and Steve Smith. Talib is starting to be recognized as the Bucs shutdown corner.
Play Calling – It’s become obvious the team has no plans on protecting it’s young signal caller. Leading the game or tied through two quarters offensive coordinator Greg Olson continues to dial up pass plays and neglect the team’s ground game. It quite apparent, Olson is not a fan of running the football, with 13 called running plays in the first half the team called just 4 in the second half, when is the play calling going to help the Bucs on either side of the football – young quarterback – called pass plays – an out-manned defensive line, is a recipe for disaster.
Penalties – Penalties’ are killing the Bucs offense, for every positive yard the team gains, its evident the team will have a mental gaffe the very next play and back it’s self into an unfavorable down and distance.
Run Defense – The Panthers duo of Williams & Stewart combined for 3 touchdowns’ and 262 yards on 47 carries for an average of 5.6 yards per carry. While the run defense was horrendous, the scheme is partly to blame, the team just doesn’t have the horses to play the two gap scheme on the interior, which limits there aggression by forcing the defensive tackles to wait and see what the offensive lineman are doing before they can attack down hill, the Panthers gained 107 yards on 19 carries in the first half. In the second half the Panthers rushed for 155 yards on 29 carries.