What were four takeaways as the Panthers pulled off a shock 21-3 win at home against Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The Panthers have defeated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at home 21-3 in a shock result. Now when watching this Panthers game fans noticed that this was a different team. Leading up to this game, there were big roster changes. Of course, referring to Christan McCaffery and Robbie Anderson being traded.
Nevertheless, Carolina stunned everyone with a dominant display across the board holding the Bucs to just three points of a Ryan Succop field goal to move to 2-0 in the division just one game back from the division lead.
Let’s break down the four takeaways.
Panthers New Running Back System
When CMC was in Carolina the running game scheme was just having McCaffery do everything. During the first game without him, the Panthers experimented with something new. Having a duo running back system with D’Onta Foreman and Chuba Hubbard. Similar to what the Green Bay Packers has with Aaron Jones and A.J Dillon. The Panthers moving forward could continue to do this as a replacement for McCaffery as we saw it’s effectiveness Sunday.
In the game against the Bucs, Foreman had 15 carries for 118 yards and-receiving he had two receptions for 27. Meanwhile, Hubbard had nine carries for 63 yards and one touchdown, and he had two catches for ten yards.
The Carolina Passing Game
One very surprising thing to come out of the Bucs’ game, was how good the passing game was. The Panthers’ leading receiver was D.J Moore with seven receptions for 69 yards and one touchdown expect a bigger role for Moore following the departures of Anderson and CMC . Moore wasn’t the only one with a touchdown, Tight end Tommy Tremble got a touchdown on national tight end day. The last touchdown he scored was last year against the Houston Texans.
Dominant Performance by the Defense
The defense was able to get after Tom Brady. Donte Jackson had 10 solo tackles, and Brian Burns was the lone Panther to sack Brady. They were able to keep the Bucs out of the endzone holding the Goat to just three total points. Brady completed only 65% of his passes in this game.
The Panthers did this while missing two cornerbacks Jaycee Horn and Stantley Thomas-Oliver III along with missing their top safety Jeremy Chinn. At various points on Sunday Carolina was also without CJ Henderson and Donte Jackson for periods of time. So the fact the Panthers practically shut out Tom Brady while being injured is astounding.
P.J Walker played out of his mind against the Bucs. He completed 16-of-22 for 177 yards and two touchdowns. With Walker playing great in this game there now is the possibility that he takes the starting job from Baker Mayfield who was out with an ankle injury. Walker now moves to 3-1 as a starter and this was by far his best performance as a starter. Despite the possibility of Darnold and Mayfield returning in Week Seven Walker has earned his starting spot for another week at least.
There is a scenario, that because of the win versus the Bucs. Carolina is one game back from first place, the Panthers could theoretically be in first place in the division according to a tweet from Ari Meriov of My Sports Update.
The scenario is if the Panthers beat the Atlanta Falcons next week, who just lost to the Cincinnati Bengals, and the Bucs lose to the Baltimore Ravens who won against the Cleveland Browns. Then Panthers could take the division lead so maybe the talk of tanking was a premature one.