Tampa Bay can’t catch a break – or a bounce. Despite outgaining the Panthers by 173 yards on Sunday, the Bucs couldn’t find their fifth win in Carolina, losing 22-19 to the Panthers. 

The Bucs defense turned in a strong performance – holding Cam Newton to 160 yards passing and the Panthers’ backfield to 63 on the ground – while Jameis Winston threw for 367 and a touchdown. But Sunday was the story of self-inflicted wounds. From allowing a 103-yard kick return near the end of the first half to missing a field goal and jumping offsides on fourth-and-goal, a few key blunders offset an otherwise improved outing for the Bucs.

Winston lost his poise in the end but excelled along with a few other teammates in the divisional loss. Check out PewterReport.com’s list of Most Impressive Bucs and see if you agree.

QB Jameis Winston
Many fans will disapprove of the final 35 seconds, in which Winston fumbled for the third time and lost his composure, and they’d have a point. More is expected of a third-year quarterback, both in terms of ball security and poise. But a careful look at Sunday’s game shows that for 59 minutes and 25 seconds, Winston was nearly perfect. Despite two early fumbles – he now has six in four games – he put the Bucs in position to win. Winston evaded pressure and found targets throughout the game – see jump ball to Adam Humphries before the half, and a third-and-3 lob to Charles Sims in the red zone – and he connected with Mike Evans three times on third down. A late, 30-yard conversion from the Bucs five-yard line appeared as if it would ice the game. Turnovers remain an issue but Sunday still saw a strong performance from Winston, who completed 21 of 27 passes for 367 yards. 

WR Mike Evans
Evans leaped over Panthers cornerback James Bradberry for a 28-yard catch on the sideline during the third quarter, his fifth reception of the day. The Bucs scored on the next play as Winston found Bobo Wilson for their first lead. Evans finished with six catches for a season-high 106 yards in Carolina. Three catches came on third down, including a 30-yard strike from Winston on third-and-12 in the fourth quarter. He and fellow receivers amassed 367 yards without Desean Jackson (ankle) in the lineup.

WRs Chris Godwin and Adam Humphries
Stepping up for Jackson were Godwin and Humphries, who had 98 and 51 yards, respectively. Both contributed with “explosives” – Godwin with a 70-yard catch (longest for Bucs since 2013) and Humphries with a 36-yard snag that he wrangled from Panthers safety Kurt Coleman. Both drives, however, resulted in field goals as Tampa Bay struggled to finish in the red zone. 

Coverage on Greg Olsen in the Red Zone
Traditionally a Buc-killer, Olsen was limited by the Bucs physical coverage. From Will Gholston and the outside linebackers pressing at the line of scrimmage to T.J. Ward’s effort in the end zone, Tampa Bay stymied Cam Newton’s favorite red zone target. Olsen vented his frustration near the end of the third quarter, yelling on the sideline after the Bucs held Carolina to its third field goal. Olsen, who’s missed most of the year but had 116 yards last week, finished with 27 yards Sunday.

DT Gerald McCoy
McCoy dominated the interior part of Carolina’s offensive line in the first half, culminating with a third-down sack. The six-time Pro Bowler also assisted Ryan Russell’s third-down sack in the fourth quarter, a critical splash play. While Newton rushed for 52 yards, the Bucs defensive line limited the Panthers backfield to just 63. McCoy, whose quick get-off was on display, looked in usual form despite suffering a biceps injury two weeks ago.  

LBs Lavonte David and Kwon Alexander
David and Alexander combined for 19 tackles and finished plays against the run. They contained Christian McCaffrey and Jonathan Stewart, who combined for 58 yards, while Alexander produced the Bucs only takeaway, capitalizing on a tipped pass by Chris Conte in the third quarter. The Bucs defense was 70 percent (9 of 13) on third down.

Zach is entering his 3rd year covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a writer for PewterReport.com. Since 2014, he's handled a large part of the beat reporting responsibilities at PR, attending all media gatherings and publishing and promoting content daily. Zach is a native of Sarasota, FL, and a graduate of the University of Tampa. He has also covered high school football for the Tampa Tribune and the NFL for Pro Player Insiders. Contact him at: [email protected]

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Amo
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Amo

Was that Pat Murray or Fred McMurray kicking today? What a dumpster fire! We have no idea how to win. We have players like McCoy playing their guts out and we piss it away every week. Rate this item:Thumb UpThumb DownSubmit Rating00 No votes yet. Please wait...

Naplesfan
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Naplesfan

Murray made five of his six kicks – four of five FGA, 1 of 1 XPA. His lone miss was a long FGA that for most kickers in the league is at best a 50% probability. Sure, the one he missed was the difference in the score … but relying on a kicker to make 5 of 5 FGA is simply unreasonable. It’s the offense that failed to convert touchdowns that cost us the game more than any other single factor. A one touchdown performance by the offense is simply unacceptable. Rate this item:Thumb UpThumb DownSubmit Rating00 No votes yet.… Read more »

Bucnut2
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Bucnut2

I am stunned that the “smart”media in this town keeps defending and even praising Winston. He is 2-10 this year and has 57 TO in 44 games as a pro. Does PR not care about wins? Is it all about defending Winston? Do you guys just care about yards. Winston has put up a TON of yards and yet we are 17-27 in his starts meaning he has won jut 38% of his games. I don’t know about you guys, but i don’t like the idea of going 6-10 for the next 10 years. Winston’s record is a HUGE problem… Read more »

chefboho
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chefboho

You continue to forget that the defense has let 4 wins slip away in the last four games. Jameis has given the team a chance in everyone of those games. Did the same with the patriots. That’s five possible wins in which the TEAM, not just jameis lose the game. It’s tiring that you continually base your point on a win lose record for a QB to be good. Rate this item:Thumb UpThumb DownSubmit Rating00 No votes yet. Please wait...

Bucnut2
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Bucnut2

3 of those 4 games were that close because of Winston turnovers, see yesterday and Packers game. Thank you for the lively debate and sorry we disagree on Winston. Merry Christmas. BucNut Rate this item:Thumb UpThumb DownSubmit Rating00 No votes yet. Please wait...

cgmaster27
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cgmaster27

No bucnut we didn’t lose because of three fumbles. We lost because of fumbles, penalties, a missed kick, the defense once again choking away a late lead, bad play calling, and many other things. But you go ahead and continue to focus your crap at Jameis. Must be upset about mariotas day today. Stop with the wins bs, there are a ton of factors involved in a win. You couldn’t wait to come on here with your same tired crap. Honestly us Bucs fans are tired of seeing your same posts, and yet here you are. Jamie’s isn’t going anywhere… Read more »

sunshineben
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sunshineben

you have a BIG crush on Jamies which is your choice but… With respect a few people might be tired of your post also but don’t ask to go away so be cool. We are all buc fans and I do pay for season tkts ..Do You also? Rate this item:Thumb UpThumb DownSubmit Rating00 No votes yet. Please wait...

Bucnut2
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Bucnut2

I do and wonder who else on this site is a season ticket holder. I am a HUGE bucs fan and have been for 35 years. The way the franchise is going kills me. I honestly think if Winston had gone to a college not in Florida, people would be calling for his head. But most fans fondly remember his college days and transpose that success to the NFL. The fact is, he is no where near elite and is much closer to average. I am ok with that, as long as we build a GREAT defense and stop trying… Read more »

Bucnut2
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Bucnut2

Will someone just refute my facts…. I thought so, no one can. Winston is winning less than 40% of his starts as a pro. I have no interest in watching a guy throw up stats while we continue to lose. His TO’s are a big part of us losing as much as we are. Whatever happened to the hype on this site about him coming out of college; “he is a winner, he is pro ready” 44 starts later, i can think of 17 NFL starters i would take ahead of him. Th guy is just an average NFL QB,… Read more »

gibsonmx
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gibsonmx

Winston does make some boneheaded plays. But to say he sucks is a bit much. Go look up P. Manning first 3 year stats. He threw 58 INT and had another 7 fumbles. That is 65 turnovers in three years. Jamies only has 41 INT up to this point and however many fumbles you said he had. B. Farve had 51 INT in his 1st 3 full seasons as a starter. By no means am I saying he will be either of those 2 QB, but I think he is a lot like Farve was(a gunslinger that will take chances… Read more »

chefboho
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chefboho

It won’t work Gibson. I’ve tried telling him the same thing to refute what he keeps saying about jameis. I’ve brought up many facts and yet all he keeps going back to is winning records as a QB. He’s stuck on the fact that Jamie’s isn’t his quarterback and there’s nothing jameis himself can do to change that. If he goes 30/31 with 300+ yards and three touchdowns, no turnovers, but we lose, it would somehow be jamies’ fault because he didn’t win. Rate this item:Thumb UpThumb DownSubmit Rating00 No votes yet. Please wait...

Bucnut2
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Bucnut2

Really good post. Merry Christmas Rate this item:Thumb UpThumb DownSubmit Rating00 No votes yet. Please wait...

Horse
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Horse

You might want to review all the other quarterbacks starting in the NFL before you make that statement again. Rate this item:Thumb UpThumb DownSubmit Rating00 No votes yet. Please wait...

Bucnut2
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Bucnut2

I have Horse. GO look at his TOTAL TO’s not just INT… you can’t win turning the ball over like Winston does. Rate this item:Thumb UpThumb DownSubmit Rating00 No votes yet. Please wait...

Kimba
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Kimba

Bucnut do you even think before you even think before you post? You have to consider why did the ball get fumbled–what was happening at that time–the entire defense was in the backfield much of the game when our offense on the field. It was ridiculous, amazing Jameis is as effective as he is. The offensive line is a tatters. Rate this item:Thumb UpThumb DownSubmit Rating00 No votes yet. Please wait...

Bucnut2
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Bucnut2

The defense wasn’t in the back field when Winston fumbled the snap. n his first fumble is was a three step drop meaning the ball was supposed to be out when he hit his bak foot. He doubled pumped, held it and then was hit and coughed up the ball. Go look at the tape and then come back and tell me I’m wrong. Rate this item:Thumb UpThumb DownSubmit Rating00 No votes yet. Please wait...

Buc 1976
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Buc 1976

Ok we get you hate Winston! So shut up. Rate this item:Thumb UpThumb DownSubmit Rating00 No votes yet. Please wait...

sunshineben
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sunshineben

Be cool ..if you have a man crush on Winston ok but show more respect to others who may not always agree with you.(also season tkt holder ) Rate this item:Thumb UpThumb DownSubmit Rating00 No votes yet. Please wait...

Buc 1976
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Buc 1976

One thing I do not have a man crush on any man!! Number 2 it is ok to post what you feel you have criticized Winston so MANY TIMES it is getting very OLD. The last time I checked he does not play Defense! In fact he has given us a lead late in games only to see our defense let the other teams move down the field and score. Does Winston have flaws YES. But to imply he alone has lost games is not COOL. Rate this item:Thumb UpThumb DownSubmit Rating00 No votes yet. Please wait...

buddah
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buddah

Football is a team game. We ask Winston to put us in position to win games. He has done that. Rate this item:Thumb UpThumb DownSubmit Rating00 No votes yet. Please wait...

Bucnut2
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Bucnut2

I disagree. His TO have put us in catch up mode all year. Merry Christmas buddah! Rate this item:Thumb UpThumb DownSubmit Rating00 No votes yet. Please wait...

Dave
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Dave

And as usual, let’s just take the easy way out and blame Winston for the entire season. Everyone said he needs to stop throwing so many pics. He cut down on that. Everyone said his completion percentage needs major improvement, he did that. You ever think the team around him blows? Did you ever even consider that? Because it’s true. The team around him is borderline horrendous. If you take away the 2 games Winston played barely half the game injured, his stats would have finished as follows. 65.7 %, 3013 yards, 8.2 YPA, 301.3 yds/gm, 18 TD vs 8… Read more »

seat26
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seat26

Winston is not the problem. We have had no consistent running game, and our Defense is hot one week and horrible the next. Until we solve the problems on both the defensive and offensive lines this team will go nowhere. We are still a couple of drafts away from being able to compete for the division. Rate this item:Thumb UpThumb DownSubmit Rating00 No votes yet. Please wait...

TheTruth
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TheTruth

A couple of drafts away from being able to compete which means McCoy will not be McCoy, Jameis will be into his 5th or 6th year by then. We should have drafted D-line last year, but yet we drafted Howard which is a great player, but not what we needed, draft before we drafted crap on D and this year got hits with Beckwith and Evans. We were there at the end of last year, but drafted not for what we needed to compete now, but rather the supposed best available, we were not a contender and did have the… Read more »

Jlog
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Jlog

Winning teams draft the best player available, if you don’t need them you can always trade them. Howard was by far the best player available at that time. Buck made the right choice at that time. On coin flip player wan’t going to change the course for our team it goes much deeper than that. Starting with coaches. With our receiving corp we should be putting up 30 points every game with ease. Be it the coaches, O line or QB or some combination that is not happening. With 30 points a game we would be winning over 50%. Rate… Read more »

TheTruth
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TheTruth

How can Jameis be among the most impressive. Take away the last fumble and he still lost two fumbles that resulted in two (2) field goals by Carolina which is more the difference in the game. The defense played better than we thought and one (1) elite pass rusher away from the next level. Don’t knock Murray as he is far better than the previous so called kickers placed in his spot. I wonder does Jameis have small hands similar to those that plagued Shaun King or after the end of his third year does he don’t understand the game… Read more »

Bucnut2
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Bucnut2

Finally someone is telling the “truth” on this site. Well done! Rate this item:Thumb UpThumb DownSubmit Rating00 No votes yet. Please wait...

Bucnut2
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Bucnut2

Winston TO’s resulted in at least a 9 point swing in the game and we lost by how many? Rate this item:Thumb UpThumb DownSubmit Rating00 No votes yet. Please wait...

owlykat
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owlykat

Bucnut, I have been a Buc Fan since the franchise started. Remember Steve Young? With a bad OL he looked like a loser with the Bucs, then behind a good 49er line he was a Super QB. You cut Winston and he will go to a team with a decent GM who has built a great OL and DL and he will be a Super Star. The culprit here is our GM who has failed to choose great OL and DL players; not Winston. And all our players are playing hard so they have not quit on Koetter or their… Read more »

Bucnut2
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Bucnut2

I want winston to succeed, just dont think he will. I hope I am wrong as I love this franchise. Here is what I know, you can’t turn the ball over and win in the NFL. I wish you the best. Merry Christmas. Bucket Rate this item:Thumb UpThumb DownSubmit Rating00 No votes yet. Please wait...

Amo
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Amo

Well, at least we can all agree on one thing….the season is a nightmare. Go Bucs in 2018! And yes, I’ve been a fan since 1976. Rate this item:Thumb UpThumb DownSubmit Rating00 No votes yet. Please wait...

HOF63
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HOF63

thought ward played his best game. conte was solid. Rate this item:Thumb UpThumb DownSubmit Rating00 No votes yet. Please wait...

D
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D

As a logical person, I’m not sure how a QB fumbling is a sign they are a bad qb. I would say its a sign the qb is getting hit too much. The one fumble winston had against greenbay was dumb, but other than that how is fumbling a sign a qb is bad or tunrover prone? I’d love to see a stat that shows if a qb fumbles a lot one season he will do it his entire career. I doubt it ever happens. Look at Cam fumbling, it was pure luck in bounced right back to him. And… Read more »

Jlog
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Jlog

Here you go if you scroll down you will find Defense and Fumbles. One the best football stat sites out there. The link is directly to Winston’s page. https://www.pro-football-reference.com/players/W/WinsJa00.htm Rate this item:Thumb UpThumb DownSubmit Rating00 No votes yet. Please wait...

Jlog
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Jlog

It not just the stats it’s also the context of what he’s trying to do when most of them happen that is disturbing. You are correct about the blind hits but most of the time Winston fumbles when he’s knows he’s trouble and he chooses to try to extend the play. It’s what got him hurt to begin with as well. Rate this item:Thumb UpThumb DownSubmit Rating00 No votes yet. Please wait...

surferdudes
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I don’t know what game some of you were watching. With the lead in the 4th quarter once again, let’s look at Carolina’s final drive. Newton had all the time in the world to throw the ball which he did. Then down on the goal line with 36 seconds to go, and no time outs, Dirk calls time out leaving us only one for when we’d get the ball back. On the very next play where I knew, and assuming the Buc defense knew Cam was going to run the ball. Not only does he run it, he fumbles first,… Read more »

Buc 1976
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Buc 1976

Carolina’s last drive proves prevent Defense prevents you from winning. JUST MY OPINION Rate this item:Thumb UpThumb DownSubmit Rating00 No votes yet. Please wait...

scubog
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scubog

My goodness Bucnut dominates the entire article with his dubious disdain for Winston no matter what the young QB does. With every positive statistic BucNut is sure to follow with a “yeah but” in an effort to keep his agenda alive. Having been through every one of our past QB’s, I can assure you that Jameis Winston is the best we’ve ever had. It’s not baseball where the pitcher is the focal point of wins and losses. We have been competitive and in a position to win multiple games this season because of Winston not in spite of him. Rate… Read more »

gibsonmx
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gibsonmx

I will just leave this here. http://bucsreport.com/2017/12/25/winston-ties-dan-marinos-nfl-record/ Rate this item:Thumb UpThumb DownSubmit Rating00 No votes yet. Please wait...

Jlog
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Jlog

Dan Entered the league at 22 Winston at 21, perhaps you can see why it’s a BS stat. Players don’t enter the league at the same age. By the end of Dan’s first 3 seasons he had thrown 98td with one game remaining Winston has thrown for 68. Rate this item:Thumb UpThumb DownSubmit Rating00 No votes yet. Please wait...

buddah
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buddah

I was a person who urged the Buccaneers to draft Mariota. I was wrong. Three years in, Mariota’s W/L record is better than Winston’s but I’ve watched both of them extensively (on Sunday Ticket) and I admit I was wrong. Winston has far more up-side than Mariota. Actually, Mariota has regressed significantly this year. Despite missing almost one fourth of the season Winston’s stats are far superior and though fumbling is a problem that must be addressed, Winston is showing signs of being a dominant quarterback. He’s just not there yet. It would be a catastrophic mistake to give up… Read more »

Naplesfan
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Naplesfan

I didn’t get a chance to watch the game, wish I had. Looks like Winston’s put a couple of good games in a row, which is progress from his usual (through 3 seasons) one step forward, one step back. Maybe Koetter has finally given up on his five verticals offense and is letting Jameis West-Coast the offense, which appears to be a better fit. But if that’s what it takes to make it work and that’s not what Koetter wants to do or is good at doing, then we need to make a change at head coach. Something about square… Read more »

chefboho
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chefboho

Ok bucnut, since you wanted stats I’ll throw some out at ya. Since Winston’s return to the lineup. He’s top five in the nfl in yards per attemp, completion percentage, touchdowns, and yards. He also has the number 1 QBR I’m the nfl tue last four weeks of 114.6. I’m trying to get this through to you since you seem to think it’s him loosing all these games. Look at the defense the last four weeks. 29th in yards allowed, 27th in points allowed, 26th in 3rd down percentage, and 31st in yards per play. So tell me again how… Read more »

Naplesfan
Member
Naplesfan

Uhhh, according to ESPN stats, Jameis had the 11th ranked QBR in the league last game. The the three games prior he ranked # 10 and #13. Since his return his total QBR has averaged #11 in the league, not first in the league. Total QBR takes into account everything, passing, running, fumbles, etc. Winston’s season total QBR is 48.8 making him the 21st ranked quarterback in the league in 2017. He’s not exactly lighting it up – he is, statistically, mediocre. He’s passed better since he came back from the injury, but quarterbacks aren’t just passers – they’re leaders… Read more »

plopes808
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plopes808

All the Winston hate makes ZERO sense. Yes, he’s got an issue with turnovers. However, look at the TYPE of turnovers. He had a problem with INTs which are on the QB without a doubt. He has wiped out those INTs over the past few games after his injury. Lately he’s having a problem with sack/fumbles…do you really put the blame on the QB for a sack/fumble? The guy is looking downfield trying to win the game and gets hit from behind or the side. I tend to blame a sack/fumble on the OL, but everyone likes to point the… Read more »