Week 10 Game Recap: Tampa Bay Buccaneers 10, Carolina Panthers 24
What you need to know
The Buccaneers led 7-0 at the half after frustrating the Panthers’ offense. Bruce Gradkowski found Ike Hilliard for a six yard touchdown on the Buccaneers’ third possession but he also threw two interceptions to end the last two possessions of the first half. The Buccaneers produced very little on offense in the second half and were held to a field goal.
Cadillac Williams did not have much success running the football. He was held to 44 yards on 15 carries and also lost a fumble.
Joey Galloway and Michael Clayton saw eight and seven targets respectively, but Galloway was the most impressive receiver for the Buccaneers. All of his five catches went for a first down.
The defense shut out the Panthers in the first half and almost totally closed down the running game. They were responsible for two first half turnovers. Steve Smith proved to be too much to handle in the second half as the defense gave up 24 points.
The Panthers looked dreadful on offense in the first half but turned the game around after the interval. Jake Delhomme found Keyshawn Johnson to give the Panthers the lead, and he finished the game off with a 36 yard touchdown pass to Steve Smith.
The running game did not look very convincing. DeShaun Foster and DeAngelo Williams both struggled. Brad Hoover was used in short yardage situations and ended the game with the only rushing touchdown.
Steve Smith had three first half receptions for a total of 32 yards but he exploded in the second half. He ended with eight receptions for 149 yards and a touchdown. Keyshawn Johnson also caught a touchdown pass.
The Panthers’ defense did a great job all night. Julius Peppers had three sacks and caused trouble throughout the game, despite being double-teamed. The defense created four turnovers.
What you ought to know
Gradkowski led an encouraging opening drive and narrowly overthrew Joey Galloway on what would have been a 50 yard touchdown. Galloway was heavily involved on the Buccaneers’ third drive. He slipped and then recovered to catch a 27 yard pass for a first down, and then had a seven yard first down reception later in the drive to set up a score. Gradkowski struggled later in the half as Julius Peppers penetrated the line for two sacks. He managed to find Ike Hilliard for a 17 yard gain on third and 12, but then threw a pick to Ken Lucas when looking deep for Joey Galloway. Gradkowski made an error on the following drive when throwing deep for Michael Clayton and the pass was intercepted by Shaun Williams. Gradkowski started the second half badly by fumbling the ball away to Peppers on the opening possession. He had very little success after that until the fourth quarter when he hit Galloway for gains of 26 yards and 19 yards on consecutive plays. The drive ended in a field goal for Tampa Bay’s only points of the second half. Gradkowski was sacked by Peppers again on fourth and ten with two minutes remaining.
Williams was not impressive in this game. He carried 15 times for a total of 44 yards but only had three gains over five yards with a high of 11 yards. The line did not open many holes and he was regularly stopped for short gains. Williams fumbled away possession in the second half after running into his own lineman. He did not catch either of the passes thrown his way.
|RB Mike Alstott, Rush: 2 - 3 - 0, Rec: 2 - 16 - 0 (3 targets)|
Alstott was used twice in short yardage situations, converting one on a one yard run. He was targeted three times in the passing game, catching one for a loss and another for an 18 yard gain before dropping the final pass.
Pittman was used to return kicks. He caught one pass for no gain from his two targets. He did not carry the ball during the game.
Galloway was the most heavily targeted receiver for the Buccaneers, and also the most dangerous. He was overthrown on the opening possession for what would have been a 50 yard touchdown. He was a factor on the third drive as he slipped and then recovered to make a 27 yard reception. Galloway then converted a first down with a seven yard reception and the drive led to a touchdown. Gradkowski targeted Galloway deep later in the first half, but the pass was intercepted by Ken Lucas. The Buccaneers struggled in the second half and it was Galloway that gave the team a spark. He caught consecutive passes of 26 yards and 19 yards to set up a field goal and also had a nine yard reception for a first down on Tampa Bay’s final drive of the game. Galloway ended with five receptions for a total of 87 yards, and each catch brought up a first down.
Hilliard was only targeted four times in the game, but he caught every ball thrown in his direction. He gave the team the lead by catching a six yard touchdown pass on the Buccaneers’ third possession of the game. Hilliard made a 17 yard reception on third and 12 later in the first half. His other two receptions were for small gains.
Clayton dropped a pass on the opening play of the game. He did manage to convert a third down on the opening drive, catching a 16 yard pass. Clayton had another short gain and was targeted five times in the first half. The last came when Gradkowski looked deep for Clayton, but the pass was overthrown and intercepted by Shaun Williams. Clayton was only targeted twice in the second half. The first pass was uncatchable and Clayton dropped the second. He also got into a fight with Chris Gamble at one point but no action was taken against either player.
Smith caught three of his five targets for a total of 18 yards.
Bryant made his extra point attempt and converted a 28 yard field goal and was perfect on the night.
The Buccaneers did not allow the Panthers to make significant gains on the ground, holding them to 78 net rushing yards on 30 attempts. With LB Shelton Quarles and DT Ellis Wyms inactive, the feat was even more impressive. They did allow Brad Hoover to score on a five yard run however.
The pass defense did an excellent job in the first half, holding Steve Smith and Keyshawn Johnson to three receptions each for a total of 50 yards. Ronde Barber stripped the ball from Johnson on one occasion and Dewayne White recovered for the Buccaneers. Barber was again involved at the end of the half when intercepting a pass intended for Drew Carter. The second half was a different story as the defense could not stop Steve Smith. They surrendered a four yard touchdown to Keyshawn Johnson before blowing coverage and allowing Smith to score on a 36 yard reception.
|QB Jake Delhomme, Pass: 22 - 34 - 240 - 2 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 3 - 2 - 0|
Delhomme was not very effective in the first half. He started well by connecting on a 22 yard pass to Steve Smith but every Panthers’ drive stalled. Delhomme was intercepted by Ronde Barber on the Panthers’ final drive of the half when trying to find Drew Carter. The second half was a complete contrast as Delhomme threw for 166 yards and two touchdowns and was error free. Delhomme found Steve Smith for a 43 yard gain on the Panthers’ opening possession of the second half. He was fortunate not to be intercepted later in the drive but was able to lead the team into field goal range. Delhomme almost hit Keyshawn Johnson for a 29 yard touchdown on the following drive when Johnson appeared to make the catch in the end zone, but the pass was ruled incomplete. Delhomme responded by finding Steve Smith for a 21 yard gain and completed the drive with a four yard touchdown pass to Keyshawn Johnson. Delhomme finished strongly when the Buccaneers’ defense blew coverage allowing Steve Smith to get open for a 36 yard score.
Foster did not impress and was held to 48 yards on 13 carries. He converted on second and ten with a 13 yard run; his longest gain of the night. Brad Hoover was used in short yardage situations in the second half and was given the ball at the five yard line for the Panthers' only rushing touchdown of the game. Foster also saw DeAngelo Williams carry seven times. Foster was targeted three times, catching two passes for a total of nine yards.
Williams almost fumbled on his first carry but his knee was ruled down before the ball came out. Four of his carries went for no gain or a loss. He did manage a 15 yard gain at the end of the game. Williams was targeted once, making the catch for an 11 yard gain on third and 17. The team also used him on kick returns.
|RB Brad Hoover, Rush: 5 - 14 - 1, Rec: 3 - 18 - 0 (3 targets)|
Hoover was given his first carry with the Panthers near their own goal line. He was used in short yardage situations in the second half, converting three times for a first down and also running in a five yard touchdown. Hoover caught all of his three targets for a total of 18 yards.
|WR Steve Smith, Rush: 2 - -5 - 0, Rec: 8 - 149 - 1 (12 targets)|
Smith had a quiet first half after making a 22 yard reception on the Panthers’ first passing play of the game. Torrie Cox was trying to cover Smith one on one and Delhomme exploited the situation with an accurate pass. Smith was far more effective in the second half. He converted on third and six by catching a deep ball for a 43 yard gain on the Panthers’ opening drive of the half. He followed that with two first down receptions of eight yards and 21 yards on the next drive. Smith’s biggest play came towards the end of the game when the Bucs blew their coverage allowing Smith to get wide open for a 36 yard touchdown reception. The Panthers tried to get Smith involved in the running game by running him on the reverse. He gained two yards on one and lost seven yards on the other. Smith announced earlier in the season that he no longer wished to return punts, but he was seen returning one in this game. Smith was ill during the game and vomited into a garbage can between drives.
Johnson was very involved in the passing game. He made a ten yard reception for what would have been a first down, but Ronde Barber stripped the ball and the Buccaneers recovered. Johnson had gains of five yards and 13 yards later in the first half, but the drives were not productive. Johnson did well to catch a tipped pass on the Panthers’ opening possession of the second half, and the drive led to a field goal. On the following drive, Johnson stretched to make a 29 yard catch in the end zone. He landed on his elbow and appeared to be just inside the line, but the pass was ruled out of bounds. Delhomme found Johnson for a four yard touchdown pass later in the drive. Johnson became the first man to score touchdowns for four different teams on Monday Night Football.
Carter was only targeted once in the game and the pass was intercepted by Ronde Barber.
Colbert was targeted once in the end zone but the ball was uncatchable.
Gaines was targeted once in the game. He caught the pass for a six yard gain.
Mangum saw one target in the game. He made the reception for a ten yard gain and a first down.
Kasay was perfect on the night, making a 28 yard field goal and converting three extra points.
The Panthers held the Buccaneers to 69 net rushing yards. Cadillac Williams gained just 44 yards on 15 carries and Mike Minter also recovered a Williams' fumble. Bruce Gradkowski scrambled on several occasions and was stripped of the ball by Chris Draft for Julius Peppers to recover another fumble.
Julius Peppers had a huge game, registering three sacks as well as a fumble recovery. He was double-teamed, but managed to pressure Gradkowski regularly. Ken Lucas and Shaun Williams each had an interception as Gradkowski threw two inaccurate deep passes. After surrendering a touchdown in the first half, the Panthers’ defense stepped things up after the break. Gamble and Draft were both shaken up during the game but quickly returned.