The Bucs needed a big bounce back game after losing their season-opener to the San Francisco 49ers in week one and that’s exactly what they got with a hard-fought, 20-14 victory over a divisional foe in the Carolina Panthers.

The Bucs moved to 1-1 on the season and here are the most impressive performances from their victory on Thursday night.

OLB Shaq Barrett
Barret had his coming out party with the Bucs on Thursday, coming up with big sacks in some crucial moments. He finished the game with three sacks, two of them coming on back-to-back plays during a third quarter drive while Tampa Bay was clinging to a 10-9 lead.

Barrett also drew a holding call early in the fourth quarter on a third down pass rush, inevitably leading to a Carolina punt, and came flying off of the edge on fourth down later in the quarter that forced an incomplete pass from Cam Newton. He was a source of constant pressure, had four quarterback hits and forced Newton into multiple incomplete passes.

QB Jameis Winston
Winston needed a bounce back performance after his rough outing against the 49ers, and he had it against Carolina on Thursday night . Winston was under pressure often, but stood strong in the pocket, was able to escape at times and looked much more comfortable in his second game.

In the first half he completed a perfectly-placed pass to Mike Evans for a 41-yard gain before delivering a dime to Chris Godwin for a touchdown later in the drive. Throughout the night he also had a nice pass to Breshad Perriman in the end zone that wasn’t brought in and stood tall in his own end zone, dropping another well-placed ball to Godwin but the receiver couldn’t keep his feet in bounds.

Winston’s final line showed 16 completions on 25 attempts for 208 yards and a touchdown.

DE Anthony Nelson
Nelson suffered a knee injury that kept him out for a vast majority of training camp and the preseason, thus his snaps were limited in the team’s first game of the season.

Still in rotation as a backup, Nelson made his presence known when he was out there on Thursday with a pass breakup in the first quarter before forcing a fumble as Newton ran out of the pocket.

WR Chris Godwin
Godwin had a heck of a night on Thursday. He hauled in his second touchdown reception of the season in the first half and he seemed to be everywhere throughout the rest of the game.

Godwin finished the game with eight receptions on nine targets for 121 yards and a touchdown.

RB Peyton Barber
The Bucs’ running game has vastly improved throughout their first two games of 2019. In the team’s first game against the 49ers it was Ronald Jones who broke through with the best performance of his career, but on Thursday night it was Peyton Barber pounding the rock well.

Barber finished the game with 89 rushing yards on 23 carries, with his longest carry coming on a 16-yard touchdown run that gave Tampa Bay their lead back in the fourth quarter.

CB Vernon Hargreaves
After a pick-six in the Bucs’ first game last Sunday, Hargreaves built on that performance with another big game as the whole defense stood strong, not allowing a touchdown to Carolina.

Hargreaves led the team with 12 total tackles and saved the game on the Panthers’ final play, an outside run to Carolina running back Christian McCaffrey. On fourth down, with less than a yard to go, the fourth-year defensive back ran down McCaffrey and forced him out of bounds just shy of the first down marker.

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67 COMMENTS

  1. Bowles should be up here too. Dude is a mad scientist.

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  2. The entire defense. Even when passes were completed against us, hardly any YAC, good tackling. I guess it pays to do live tackling in training camp. Jameis wasn’t spectacular, but he doesn’t have to be with this defense. Just protect the ball, kudos to him for doing just that. This is the kind of win that can go a long way for this team going forward.

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  3. Pinion deserves a mention.

    He boomed all the kick offs and he also boomed that safety punt.

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  4. Barber was excellent. I actually thought RoJo ran it well too in limited carries…shades of thunder and lightning

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  5. WHERE ARE ALL THE JAMEIS HATERS TONIGHT….CRICKETS!!!

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    • [email protected]!!

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    • I’m right here. And I’m happy to see he played awesome tonight and our team won. What’s your point

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    • I’m here also and I second what SappAttack said.

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      • Our point is he played well and you all bailed ship last week. That’s the point, regardless of how right you always think you are pink.

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        • I bailed? Really? Seems like I am still here. Let’s see Jameis string together a few games like this (and I hope he does because as a Bucs fan I want to win dammit!!!) before we start sucking his balls again.

          STOP WITH THE “JAMEIS HATERS” SHIT. We are critical of his performances because it’s deserved, not because we are “haters”. Stop saying that shit it’s so annoying. I LOVE THE BUCS! No one “hates” on anyone here. Criticism is given and deserved get over it. And you know what, I see a lot of well deserved love being dished out by the so called “haters” today. GREAT GAME JAMEIS! KEEP IT UP #3!!!

          Fragmenting our fan base when it’s weak AF already is just stupid.

          “Hater” out.

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    • He had a decent game, that’s the expectation every game. He only makes this list because the bar is so low the team.

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    • I’m here and am still waiting to see if Winston is the bust I think he is. This was one game against a team that is apparently struggling. Winston has always had the occasional good game over the years. Unfortunately they were few and far between – and he could NEVER step up on the games where the pressure was on. It still remains to be seen if this was a “new” Jameis that has turned a a corner or the “old” Jameis that just had the odd good game.

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    • Nobody suggests that Winston never has decent games … and this game was just barely decent, with a monstrous win claimed because he didn’t turn it over, as opposed to four days earlier when he turned it over four times.

      The criticism of Winston is that he has never been consistently bad .. he will have one or two decent games like this one, maybe once or twice a season a very good game .. followed by stinking up the joint the next one or two games. Rinse, repeat.

      That has been the entire history of Jameis Winston with the Bucs.

      And no, there are few “haters”. but lots and lots of skeptics, which is pretty much the great majority of all Bucs fans, being in the Winston skeptics category, as am I.

      Unless Winston completely turns it around this year, he will have more stinker games that game-ball winning games. That is the whole reason why the entire NFL knows that Winston is on a “prove it” season. And that explains why the Bucs have not rushed to sign him to a long term big money contract, as have other teams with quarterbacks that have not been in the league as long as Winston has been.

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  6. Vernon has that tackle but to be honest was not excellent

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    • Agree, that tackle was huge! But he was beat a lot last night in coverage, by my count, he allowed 5 first downs.

      Side note, Dotson and Carlton Davis need to stop picking up penalties.

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      • Agree. Hargraves made so many tackles because his assignments made so many catches. Still, that “last play” made up for all those receptions he allowed.

        Is Jones injured?

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        • Yes, he limped off after his 11 yard run. I don’t think he came back after that one. He was listed as having a foot problem earlier in the week.

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  7. Great team win! Red zone defense holding Carolina 0-3!

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  8. Great list and what great performances from so many tonight! A true team victory. No one player was bigger than the whole really. Barrett was amazing in every critical situation. VH3 got some redemption with a 4th down goal line GAME WINNING stuff on MCCAFFERY! Just wow. Suh was excellent! Vea was a beast! Gholston was extremely disruptive!! Mike Edwards and Jordan Whitehead where everywhere! Strips, sacks, picks and dominant defense reigned supreme tonight!

    GO BUCS!!

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    • Jordan Whitehead might be our best secondary player. Hes all over the place and is fantastic in run support

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  9. Absolutely a great win. I was one who criticized Winston but one game does not make or break him. He needs to be consistent with his play. Great job on the offense and defense.

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  10. I agree with you on Most Impressive. Even Gholston who has been on my “cut him list” played to his capabilities. Go Bucs!

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  11. Wait a second…. no Whitehead on this list? For real? Dude was all pro tonight. I can’t believe my eyes he’s not on this list

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    • Make that 2 of us

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      • Whitehead has been fantastic in both of the games.

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  12. The Bucs played good tonight – good enough to end a 12 road game losing streak and also ends a five-game losing streak for Bucs on Thursday night games. The defense was outstanding. Todd Bowles’ defense has allowed just one offensive touchdown in two games. This is after the Bucs gave up an average of 29 points a game last year. Bucs stopped the Panthers three times on fourth-and-1 and completely shut down the run game. Bucs held the Panthers to 39 yards rushing. Christian McCaffrey has 16 carries for 37 yards.

    Shaq Barrett gets my game ball. The Bucs need to get a speed rusher coming from the other side to complement Shaq. The coaches almost lost the game by calling back-to-back penalties. That little jewel cost me a new tv remote but the victory was saved by Vernon Hargreaves’ tackle on McCaffrey. Lol.

    We had some rough spots and the penalties are a buzz kill. Our neophyte OC has to start calling better plays or sooner or later it’s going to cost us games. Victory is always sweet and as a team we’re only going to get better. Go Bucs!

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    • Meant back-to-back timeouts that caused a penalty.

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    • I agree with the Leftwich thought. The things is He is learning just as much as our Offense is. He finally started calling some short high percentage plays in the last quarter which was nice to see. I feel like they are all going to get comfortable with each other and are learning together and once he sees who’s reliable and what people are best at, things will start to get tailored to match.

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  13. Lol @sappattack glad you call it like it is. You may not be a Jameis fan but you’re still happy he played well and we got the W. Glad to see some love in the comments. Winning is fun

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    • If he plays like this or close to it ever game if more than a fan of Jamie’s

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  14. I think were a lowering the bar for WInston here! I don’t think he had that good of a game, I would have rather seen Gholston and/or Vea on this list

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    • I’ve been had critical of Winston as anyone, but this is just about the must ridiculous thing I’ve read in here.

      Zero turnovers in a road game against a really good defense. He also should have had another TD on a perfectly thrown passes to Perriman. And the throw from his own endzone to Godwin was a thing of beauty.

      After that performance, even the harshest Winston critics (myself) need to give it up to the guy. Anyone saying he didn’t have “that good” of a game, is just being a hater at this point.

      Well done Winston

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      • I didn’t mean to say he should be in the Most Disappointing list, he was good but not impressive. And I am not a JW3 hater.

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      • Amen!

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      • The throw to Perriman was a touchdown. No way that shouldn’t have been caught.

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  15. This is a team win indeed! A division win as well. Much improved play today guys! Glad to see it! Jameis needed to play better today and he did! Good job guys! Go Bucs!

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  16. Add Whitehead to this list and it’s perfect. It was really difficult watching the game while at work and trying not to get caught…ESPECIALLY the double time out call! I can’t remember the last time we had a defense capable of keeping us in games like this. I’m not gonna lie, it’s hurting my fantasy with Jameis and Evans but I’ll take a Bucs playoff appearance over a fantasy win anytime!

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  17. PR, I think your polls of Bucs total win is going to rise by tomorrow.. lol
    To include Anthony Nelson, with missing out lots of the training camp and preseason.. very impressive!

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  18. Defense did not allow a touchdown….reminds of defense of old. Let the defense carry the team and the offense not make too many mistakes = good things in win column.

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  19. We also should give special kudos to Minter who was all over the field showing how a first round pick LB should be playing. White is a future superstar but he needs to be watching Minter to learn how to do his job.

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  20. TRUST BA—He will always find a way to WIN!

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  21. There are certainly a lot more players on the Most Impressive list after an unexpected victory. Each one, and many others, had shining moments that contributed to the win. This can be a confidence builder for our very young defense.

    I was impressed with the way the offense maintained possession for around 6 minutes as the game was winding down. Would have gone up by 10 and iced the game if Perriman catches a perfectly thrown ball in the end zone. Then impressed with Matt Gay putting us up by 6. And finally impressed with the defense preventing a last second TD.

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  22. This was a positive step forward for Winston. If Perriman could catch it would have been quite a bit better which offsets the fact that he did throw a ball right into the hands of a Panther who dropped it. Not yet the stuff of a franchise QB carrying his team to victory, but a clear step forward.

    For me to want him as our $100 million QB games like this will need to be mixed with games where his play is the reason we won, and none of the multi turnover debacles we’ve seen repeatedly the last four years. But as BA said it’s something to build off.

    Feel free to flame me for having high expectations and needing to see consistently high level play from our QB, whoever it is, but without a true franchise QB in this pass happy league you’re going nowhere.

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  23. Whitehead had a standout performance, he was quietly our best defender on the field. He’s a force every play. He only got beat once by Olsen but still tipped the ball, he was a few inches away from having multiple INT’s.

    CJ Davis is really coming into his own, he might be our best man cover corner although his stats won’t show it.

    What happened to oj Howard? Penalties and missed blocks, even got beat by Gerald.

    I’m also confused as to why lavonte David subs out for dime defense – he should be our 3-down backer without a doubt

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  24. How is Whitehead not on this list? It’s only two games in, but he’s making Derwin James lovers forget about that pick. And so is vita Vea. He was a mailer last night

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    • Not to mention his 4th and 1 takedown of newton

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  25. Most fun I’ve had watching my Bucs in very long time!
    Run shit down, no YAC, other than few blown coverages with Olsen they looked great.

    Minter looked very good too.

    They have to stop these stupid penalties on offense.

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    • I suspect some youth & preseason Rust as the reason for these penalties but we looked a little better this game. BA will get that cleaned up…
      WOW looking at the amount of pass rush we got from this unit, makes me wonder if JPP comes Back with fresh legs and we’re in the middle of a playoff run. Could be Exciting!

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  26. Whitehead should definitely be on the most. He was outstanding in run support and had a couple nice pass break ups. He also was close to breaking up another against Olsen.

    Also how about Kevin Minter? Dude came in for White and played fantastic.

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  27. Most Impressive – Ryan Jensen for getting (invisible man) McCoy to bite on trash talk shove. 15 yards personal – 1st down. Love it!

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  28. This Defense is a force so far. I kept telling my Wife all game “The Defense is outplaying Carolinas Defense but they’ve been on the field to much and I hope they don’t wear out. Thank God they are so young.” So far one of the few scary things on Defense is Carlton Davis needs to find a better way to re-reoute receivers and stop the Illegal Holding and Pass Interference/Borderline Pass Interference stuff. Carolina tried to fool us on that last play but Hargreaves didn’t bite! I was trying to remind myself on that final drive that no matter what we Improved tonight, but Dammit a Win is what we gotta get outta this!

    Winston has more in him for sure but it was good to see him, even in a wet nasty game, get more comfortable in this Offense as they will all be able to stop thinking so much and just play as they all get more comfortable with this Offense and Leftwich gets more comfortable with what he has in his players. Aside from the almost INT, Winston’s throws were right where they needed to be to either make a play or be incomplete. That throw to Perriman was tough but not necessarily expected to be able to catch by many.

    Gays one kick was a miss but it didn’t hook wide or look sloppy, both his misses were on the right hashmark and straight as an arrow, he just needs to aim it slightly left and he won’t be missing those anymore. He came back and got it done though!

    There’s still a long way to go all the way around but it was good to see last night that they’ve got some fight in them!

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  29. Hargreaves made the play that sealed the game but he does not deserve to be on this list. He was getting picked on and getting beat on slants all night. He also gave up that long pass play to Samuel to start the game off. How do you think he ended up with 12 tackles? The vast majority was tackling receivers he was covering after they made the tackle.

    The rest of the list I agree with but Godwin needs to be much higher on the list. I know Evans is recovering from an illness but Godwin has looked like a star #1 WR.

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    • Hargreaves makes the list because without his last play, we’d all be talking about our second consecutive loss of the season, and banging on many more players for failing to do their jobs.

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  30. If Jameis has no more interceptions and our kicker makes 2 out of 3 field goals and our defense plays like this we can win 10 games.

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  31. I wasn’t even worried as the Panthers drove down the field at the end of the game. I knew in my heart that we weren’t going to let them score a TD. They had almost no chance of running the ball in. Our D is lightyears better than we’ve had the past five years or so.

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    • Make that ten years.

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  32. I’m Sorry, I’m not putting Jameis on here because he sucked less. Threw a pass right to Kuechly that was dropped. Missed WIDE OPEN Evans near the right front of the endzone. Throws a bullet to left corner of endzone to Evans, that he can only get one hand on, a little touch on the pass and its a TD. Held on to ball too long again taking sacks, run for three yards, slide, and try again. Stop taking the sacks like that.

    BA said “this is what Jameis can do”…Does anyone really think we can win when our QB plays like that? Our Defense has to be super human to get W’s like this.

    Steve Smith said it best on the broadcast, this is Jameis’ last year in Tamps

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    • Oh look another troll. And about the first endzone pass to Evan’s shouldve been caught if hed used 2 hands. Even the announcers pointed that out, which you probably struggle to grasp. And if perriman catches a perfectly thrown ball that’s 3tds and 68% completion. But you’re right, every throw from every QB in the nfl has to be perfect for a troll like you to enjoy.

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      • Bro, wide open is wide open. You can keep apologizing all you want, we have ALL been doing it for 4 years. Is it too much to ask that a $20million QB, in his 5th year, hits a wide open receiver? If you think that’s too much to ask, then raise your standards.

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  33. I’m extremely disappointed I didn’t see Gerald McCoy’s name on this list.
    That personal foul call he had tagged on him really helped the Bucs score that final TD.
    What a rookie mistake, letting a seasoned vet like Jennings goad you into a fight because he gave you couple of little shoves. Perfect.
    I hope the Panthers like shelling out over $700 k a game to see McCoy come up with one tackle.

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  34. (NOT being a Winston fan) I will say Winston played pretty good last night ..Not great but decent which is a big improvement from the last game!

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  35. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. When Jameis is provided with competent help around him he wins. He’s a winner. Plain and simple. With this team is starts and ends with defense. Always has. If Bowles can do what he’s done his entire career and turn this defense into a top 10 or at least league average defense, the Bucs are a playoff contender. Simple as that. i gave these stats before and I’ll give them again. Most damning stats ever. In JW career, he is 19-5 when the opposing team scores less than 24 points. When the opposing team scores 24 or more points, he’s 3-29. If that doesn’t say it all I don’t know what does. So all the Jameis haters that think he would lose even with a good defense, the stats are overwhelmingly against you. And of those 5 losses. 1 was against division and winning Texans on the road in 15’ Another was against 14-2 SB winning Patriots in 17’(also known as the Nick Folk game) and another was last year on the road to 10-6 division winning Baltimore. The other 2 were against Carolina in 2017. Not like they lost to bad teams. Point is, play good defense and Jameis will not lose the game for you most times. It starts and ends with defense!

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  36. The most impressive thing about Winston was he didn’t lose the game for us. The first half he was off on almost all his throws. Godwin had to stop his route 3 times to comeback to balls thrown behind him. He threw a swing pass to barber that almost hit him in the shoes. The 2nd halfwinsyin settked down and actually threw some good passes. He still seems to hang on to the ball to much. I would like to see him take off and run more often when he has the chance. I still don’t think Winston is a franchise QB. Had the panthers scored on that last drive I don’t think Winston could have drove us down field and won us the game. A franchise QB needs to be a game changer not a game manager. Throwing 200 yds a game just isn’t Gabe changing. Hopefully this is just the start and he will develop but I’m
    Not getting my hopes up.

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    • Evans and Perriman both dropped TD passes, don’t forget

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  37. Vea needs to be on this list. He DOMINATED the Panthers’ offensive line and allowed the pass rushers to take over. Calling it now, he will be All-Pro within 3 years. This all was possible because of Vea.

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  38. Buc haters aren’t posting . Interesting. I agree that Vea and Whitehead should be this list as both were beast.

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    • What Bucs haters?

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