PLENTY OF ROOM FOR SIMMS IMPROVE Bucs quarterback Chris Simms made his second start of the season against Carolina and seemed to have improved decision-making and poise from last week. Although Simms threw a costly interception, which was returned by Panthers CB Chris Gamble for a touchdown, he finished the game 25-of-42 for 259 yards and threw a 50-yard touchdown strike to WR Joey Galloway. Simms also tossed a total of two interception, the second of which came on a long pass attempt to the end zone near the end of the game.
NOWHERE TO RUN After carrying the Tampa Bay offense through the first quarter of the season, the Bucs running game has stalled over the last two games. On Sunday, the Bucs carried the ball 18 times for 44 yards (2.4 avg.). Their longest run of the game came on a 7-yard scamper by rookie RB Carnell “Cadillac” Williams, who carried the ball 11 times for 29 yards. Fullback Mike Alstott has the only highlight of the game for the Bucs run offense when he scored a 1-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter. The Bucs have failed to rush for over 100 yards or more vs. the Panthers in seven straight games.
GALLOWAY STAYS HOT Tampa Bay Bucs wide receiver Joey Galloway continues to show age is just a number. Galloway, an 11-year veteran, has proven to be a consistent player on offense. He caught a team-leading five passes for 83 yards, including a 50-yard touchdown from Simms in the second quarter. Galloway averaged 16.6 yards per catch in this contest. Galloway has a total of a team-leading 44 catches for 731 yards and six touchdowns through eight games.
WALKER ON THE MOVE Tampa Bay was penalized eight times for 42 yards vs. Carolina, and tackle Kenyatta Walker accounted for three of those infractions on one offensive series in the second quarter when he was called for three false start penalties in a four-play span. Walker caught the ire of head coach Jon Gruden as he walked off the field after that series.
GRIESE RETURNS TO BUCS SIDELINE One week after undergoing season-ending surgery to repair torn knee ligaments, quarterback Brian Griese returned to Tampa Bay’s sideline on crutches on Sunday. Griese underwent the surgery nine days ago and did not make the trip to San Francisco last weekend.
BUC SHOTS Carolina scored 17 points off Tampa Bay turnovers. … Tampa Bay has lost five straight games to the Panthers. … Wide receiver Joey Galloway has 11 touchdowns in his past 12 games. … The 50-yard score was Galloway’s 60th career touchdown. … Galloway became the seventh active player with 60 career touchdowns. … Tampa Bay’s defeat marks the first time this season the Bucs have lost at home, dropping to 3-1 at Raymond James Stadium. … Tampa Bay’s defense has gone eight quarters without recording a turnover. … Tampa Bay’s offense turned the ball over four times, two fumbles and two interceptions. … Tampa Bay is 0-7 dating back to 2004 without Brian Griese as its starting at quarterback. … Tight end Dave Moore played in his 199th career game. … Moore is now 2nd all-time on the franchise list with 169 games as a Buccaneer behind former left tackle Paul Gruber. … Fullback Mike Alstott made his 63rd score of his career and 51st rushing touchdown with a one-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter. … After missing last week’s game, defensive end Simeon Rice recorded no tackles and did not make the stat sheet. … Tampa Bay was the time of possession vs. Carolina, 31:23 to 28:37.
BUCS INJURIES Starting left tackle Anthony Davis suffered a sprained left knee near the end of the second quarter and did not return. He was replaced by backup left tackle Todd Steussie.
BUCS INACTIVES The following Buccaneers were declared inactive for Sunday’s game versus Carolina: safety Dexter Jackson, linebacker Wesly Mallard, offensive tackle Chris Colmer, defensive tackle Anthony Bryant, center Scott Jackson, tight end Nate Lawrie, wide receiver J.R. Russell. Tim Rattay was designated the team’s emergency quarterback.
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