Another Sunday, another loss in Tampa Bay.

The Buccaneers (1-3) dropped their 11th straight home game in rather unflattering fashion, this time getting blown out on a rainy day 37-23 by Carolina.

“All losses are disappointing but we shouldn’t be getting beat that way,” head coach Lovie Smith said afterward. “We played a good football team today and they did some things good football teams do.”

Many who showed up to Raymond James Stadium came to also pay tribute to former Tampa Bay great Mike Alstott. The team added his name to its Ring of Honor at halftime and Smith said he was disappointed the Bucs failed to give their faithful much else to feel good about.

“We honored one of our great players in Mike Alstott,” he said. “For all the fans that keep coming to our games at home, they need to see a better product on the football field than that.”

Quarterback Jameis Winston struggled through another rough Sunday. The rookie more than doubled his interception total on the year by throwing four picks, including a pick-6 to Panthers cornerback Josh Norman on his first pass attempt of the game.

“It’s hard, but it’s just my job so I’ve got to be positive and be that person that stays up,” Winston said of Sunday’s disappointments.

Including a lost fumble on the game’s second snap, Winston accounted for all five Tampa Bay turnovers. The NFL officially charged center Joe Hawley with the fumble following the game, but replays showed Winston failing to secure the ball as he turned to hand off to running back Doug Martin.

“I just have to take care of the ball,” Winston said. “The letdown was just five turnovers. You can’t win a football game with five turnovers.”

Carolina turned that first opportunity into three points, then pushed its lead to 10-0 when Norman jumped a poor Winston pass and returned it 46 yards. The pick was Norman’s first of two on the day.

Equally dreadful was the performance of kicker Kyle Brindza. He followed up his ugly afternoon in Houston last week with another dud Sunday, missing two of three field goal tries and one of three extra points. Brindza is now 6 of 12 on the year on field goals and 6 of 8 on extra points.

When Tampa Bay made a mistake – a turnover or missed kick – Carolina didn’t let the opportunities go to waste. Thirty-four of the Panthers’ 37 points were scored after such situations – four touchdowns and two field goals.

Despite the sloppiness, this wasn’t a blowout from the start like Week 1 against Tennessee. The Bucs had their deficit down to 17-10 at the break after Martin capped off a 13-play, 80-yard drive with a 5-yard run. Martin led all ball carriers with 106 yards rushing on 20 carries.

The Panthers and Cam Newton (11 of 22 for 124 yards, two TDs and zero picks) returned the early game favor when the quarterback fumbled away the first snap of the second half. Dissimilar to Carolina’s success capitalizing on Bucs miscues, Tampa Bay responded to field possession at the Panthers 25 by going three-and-out and Brindza missing a 43-yard field goal.

Adding insult to injury was seeing Panthers defensive end Ryan Delaire sack Winston for a 9-yard loss leading up to Brindza’s miss. The Bucs cut Delaire this preseason and he finished with five tackles and both Carolina sacks.

Five minutes later the Panthers’ lead ballooned to 31-7 after touchdowns on back-to-back possessions. On the first play after Brindza’s miss, Bucs safety Chris Conte fired in and forced a fumble by running back Jonathan Stewart but the ball popped right out to Panthers tight end Ed Dickson, who raced 57 yards into the end zone.

Winston responded by throwing his second interception to Norman and Carolina was in the end zone again five plays later with a Newton-to-Ted Ginn Jr. touchdown.

Winston finished with a 57.0 rating on 26 of 43 passing for 287 yards and two touchdowns. Receiver Vincent Jackson took over as his favorite target Sunday, getting thrown to 15 times and catching 10 for 147 yards and a late touchdown. The other scoring pass came in the third quarter and went to running back Charles Sims, his second of the season.

WHAT’S NEXT

  • The Bucs stay at home to host Jacksonville (1-3) next week at 1 p.m.

OFFENSIVE STARTERS

  • WR Vincent Jackson, LT Donovan Smith, LG Logan Mankins, C Joe Hawley, RG Ali Marpet, RT Gosder Cherilus, TE Brandon Myers, WR Mike Evans, QB Jameis Winston, RB Doug Martin, FB Jorvorskie Lane

DEFENSIVE STARTERS

  • LDE Will Gholston, DT Gerald McCoy, DT Clinton McDonald, RDE Jacquies Smith, DB Sterling Moore, MLB Kwon Alexander, WLB Lavonte David, CB Tim Jennings, CB Mike Jenkins, SS Chris Conte, FS Bradley McDougald

INACTIVES

  • QB Ryan Griffin, CB Johnthan Banks, FS Major Wright, C Evan Smith, TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TE Luke Stocker, WR Russell Shepard

DID NOT PLAY

  • QB Mike Glennon

GAME SPECS

  • Paid attendance: 57,468, Raymond James Stadium
  • Game time: 3:19

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About the Author: Eric Horchy

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sunshineben
sunshineben
5 years ago

WHY ?? pewter report said J.Winston was a better qb and a smarter pick then M.M. I wonder if that thought may change after a few more games…. Check the stats

pinkstob
pinkstob
5 years ago

This ended the first quarter of the season so we have three more to go for Winston to improve. But at this point after the first quarter I don’t give a f#$& what anyone says, Winston sucks. Oh and so does our kicker, cut him and sign Barth.

macabee
macabee
Reply to  pinkstob
5 years ago

Ironically, Pinkstob and Winston are somewhat similar – both given to their emotions. After the Bucs beat the Saints, this was what pink had to say “If the Winston vs. Mariota debate has anyone foggy on where my allegiances lie as a Bucs fan and if wasn’t clear from the tone of my comments I was pissed last week. Very pissed. Today I’m happy…very happy!”. Pink is a great Buc fan and one day hopefully Winston will be a great Buc QB. I suspect the next time Winston wins, Pink will be happy again. I can only guess, but the… Read more »

cgmaster27
cgmaster27
5 years ago

Well Jameis played like shit this game pure and simple. He also was victim to terrible line play today. As good as our line looked pass blocking last week, not so much this week. Our defense can’t catch a cold, I’m looking at you Lavonte, and just continue with u timely penalties. Dougie looked good as he has all season and needs the to see the ball more. I don’t think I need to get into our kicker as he better not be employed by the end of the day. Rediculous at some of those misses. As for the play… Read more »

chefboho
chefboho
5 years ago

What I love is everyone giving up on a quarterback who hasn’t even played half of a season yet. He most certainly Looks bad but would any of u give up on Andrew luck with The year he’s having? Need further proof?? Andrew luck is only 17-15 outside of his week ass division. He also leads the league in interceptions since last year. So don’t sit here and tell me that Winston is done already. It’s the NFL and all these kids need time to gel. We are terribly coached and if we didn’t have a terrible kicker we could’ve… Read more »

chefboho
chefboho
Reply to  chefboho
5 years ago

Meant to say end up with a win in houston

SDBucfan
SDBucfan
5 years ago

Let’s just burn it all down and start over. I can’t believe our rookie QB is throwing interceptions. Damn him.

Does anyone remember when Josh Freeman threw 5 ints and no TDs in his first game against Carolina? The next season he only threw 6 ints total, but surely there’s no hope for Winston to ever perform well.

cgmaster27
cgmaster27
Reply to  SDBucfan
5 years ago

Good thoughts SD but don’t worry, there are a few of those Bucs fans that can’t wait for Winston to have a bad game so they can come on and act like they’ve never watched football before. His 4th pro game is an indicator of his whole future as a pro apparently.

pinkstob
pinkstob
Reply to  SDBucfan
5 years ago

Sarcasm is rude so I’ll just plainly remind everyone that Freeman sucks.

SDBucfan
SDBucfan
Reply to  pinkstob
5 years ago

Sure, Freeman didn’t pan out. The point I’m trying to illustrate is, QBs can struggle one season and perform entirely different the next. It’s hasty to write off QB after four games. Chill dood.

pinkstob
pinkstob
Reply to  SDBucfan
5 years ago

I understand your point now. I didn’t write him off, I said we have three quarters to go for him to improve and that’s just this season. I said I would wait three seasons before I close the book on what kind of QB I think he is. I’m just saying as of now he sucks.

Roland
Roland
5 years ago

The problem with Jameis is really simple. Whether or not he improves is mostly irrelevant. Say Jdub reaches his full potential in 3-4 years. He will be mediocre. His cap in arm strength (average cap), athletic ability (well bellow average cap), accuracy, release/wind up(well bellow average on intermediate/long passes), footwork (average cap) is mediocre AT BEST. So, if Jdub becomes a great leader and a great reader/reactor to defenses, at best, he will grow to be average. I know average seems GREAT for the Bucs but, it will not allow any Coach to last in Tampa long enough to have… Read more »

EastEndBoy
EastEndBoy
5 years ago

The thing is Lovie, they actually aren’t that good of a team. And, yes all Bucs fans (not just the ones who (can) go to RayJay) deserve a much, much better product on the field….so what (after 20 games) are you going to do to make it better?

Roland
Roland
Reply to  EastEndBoy
5 years ago

Bide our time…Hope Man U plays better then todays garbage effort, as to appease the Glazzer boys wallets so they don’t move Tampa Bay’s franchise to London. Alea iacta est

Bring on the new regime. And start with a younger dynamic OC and make him the Head Coach. Like most of the successful NFL teams in today’s offense-friendly era.

fredster
fredster
5 years ago

Another pathetic effort. Hard to even know what to say anymore. I quit getting too upset about football a long time ago. I also ditched season tickets. I’ll keep watching, but I don’t expect much better this year or until a change is made at coach and GM. I’ve seen enough of L&L. I won’t even get into coaching as none of us are really qualified, but nobody can deny the mess they have made of this team personel wise. From the kicker, to the O line, secondary, etc, etc. tired of being told it takes time. They can take… Read more »

surferdudes
surferdudes
5 years ago

It doesn’t matter who the Q.B., or coach is. What the Bucs really need is an exorcist. It was said a Vodoo curse was placed on the franchise after Williams was let go. Then it was supposedly lifted. Well it’s back. What I saw on the field today was more then bad play, and coaching. It defied logic, and reason. If this team isn’t cursed, then how do explain a team fumbling it’s way to a touchdown against us? Call in father Damion, have the next fly by shower us with holy water. There is a dark cloud over this… Read more »

scubog
scubog
5 years ago

In spite of the interceptions (one of which was tipped), Winston did do some good things. Some here choose to see only what they want to see to prove their now meaningless point. What I saw different in this game than the Titans contest was greater effort. The results don’t show on the scoreboard because of the turnovers, missed kicks and fluke play, but those things tend to even out as the season goes on. I do agree that sometimes it seems that Doug Williams Curse is still alive. Perhaps we should induct him into the Ring of Honor this… Read more »

Buctebow
Buctebow
5 years ago

It’s like a train wreck, you just have to look, but then the image of the carnage is burned into your mind forever….
I’m still hoping for improvement showing up in the second half of the season.

plopes808
plopes808
5 years ago

Winston is making rookie mistakes in his rookie year. We all knew this would happen, yet everyone cries bust as soon as he has a bad game. Prior to this game, he only had 4 INTs I believe which is pretty impressive considering. He had a bad game where he challenged the #1 CB repeatedly. Not sure what his thinking was but he did make some tough completions. The O-line didn’t give him much help either. It seems in any game our o-line is either capable of providing run blocking OR pass protection but never both. The kicking situation just… Read more »