It got ugly quickly as the Panthers jumped out to a 35-7 lead in the first half, then as usual, the Buccaneers were able to make a game of it before fading down the stretch. Once again the defense failed to record a takeaway, and committed two on offense in Tampa Bay’s 42-28 loss that drops the Bucs to 3-5 on the season and 1-2 in the NFC South.
Here are PewterReport.com’s Most Impressive Buccaneers from Sunday’s loss.
ROOSTERS PEWTER PLAYER OF THE WEEK
WR Adam Humphries
Playing close to his home in Spartansburg, South Carolina, Humphries put on a show in front of a number of family and friends who attended the game on Sunday. The former Clemson Tiger led all receivers with eight catches on all eight of his targets for 82 yards and a career-high two touchdowns. Humphries also added on run for seven yards and had two punt returns for 15 yards to earn this week’s Roosters Pewter Player honors.
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TE O.J. Howard
Why the Bucs didn’t try and exploit Howard’s talent even more against the Panthers’ linebackers is a bit of a head-scratcher. Howard was a mismatch most of the afternoon but Ryan Fitzpatrick chose to go elsewhere with the ball at times. Still, the former Crimson Tide standout had two touchdowns and four catches for 53 yards on the afternoon. He could have – and should have – had twice as many catches and yards. Howard is proving to be one of the top tight ends in all of the NFL.
K Chandler Catanzaro
You know it wasn’t a good game when you credit a player with basically not messing up. And to Catanzaro’s credit, he didn’t mess up, making all four of his extra point attempts while also hitting all of his kickoffs for touchbacks. It was Catanzaro’s first perfect game in Tampa Bay. Hopefully this game spurs on his confidence through the rest of the season.
QB Ryan Fitzpatrick
Things didn’t start well for Fitzpatrick but the unflappable veteran got into a groove as the game went on. Unfortunately, it was after the Buccaneers were down 35-7. Fitzpatrick had two interceptions on the afternoon, and his first one was particularly bad. The Panthers turned it into a touchdown to open the scoring. His final one was in desperation time as he tried to hit DeSean Jackson on a deep ball late in the game. Fitzpatrick ended up 22-of-40 for 243 yards and four touchdown passes on the afternoon. He also added 23 yards on the ground.