Rookie Josh Freeman throws 5 interceptions in a battle of young Quarterbacks, with Matt Moore and the Panthers coming away with the victory 16-6.
Tampa Bay outgained Carolina 469 yards to 309, the big difference came in the passing game, with Tampa Bay winning that category 315 to 152.
Tampa Bay moved the ball to the Carolina 30 or closer 8 times in this game, and came away with only 6 points. The Bucs were able to move the ball all day long on the Panthers, but, were unable to do anything with their opportunities.
Josh Freeman threw 5 total interceptions, 3 of which came at or near the endzone. Freeman is a rookie and he showed it Sunday afternoon with his decision making. If I told you this game featured 5 interceptions you would assume that it was Jake Delhomme that threw most of those, and you would be wrong.
Fortunately for the Panthers Delhomme sat this one out with a broken finger on his throwing hand and Matt Moore filled in nicely for the veteran. Moore's last start was a win against Tampa Bay in December 2007 and he had another good outing Sunday.
Moore completed 14 of 20 passes for 161 yards and an interception. He failed to throw for a Touchdown in the game but he did a great job of managing the game and eliminating mistakes.
DeAngelo Williams also missed the game with an injured ankle, giving second year back Jonathan Stewart the opportunity to step up and show whether or not he can carry the load on his own, and carry the load he did. The Daily Show carried the ball 26 times for 120 yards and the games only touchdown. Not too shabby.
Again the story of this game has to be the Panthers defense, which has been overshadowed by Delhomme's horrid quarterback play all season. The Panthers defense has been solid all season, especially in the secondary, where they are ranked third in the league in yards allowed.
Sunday they gave up over 300 yards to Freeman, one of their worst outings on the season but were able to force the rookie into alot of bad throws, resulting in five picks.
Carolina is now 5-7 and playing pretty well. I know we shouldn't read too much into this victory, but it has to be telling how many people actually thought the Panthers would lose this game, the Bucs have one win on the season, and they are a bad team.
Carolina is actually pretty good, they've just had some bad QB play, and we all know in this league you have to have a good QB to win. I don't know if Moore is the answer long term, but he showed on Sunday that he's good enough to help this team win, we'll see if Coach John Fox sticks with the young gun.
About the Author
Written by Danny Shapiro
Danny Shapiro is 26 years old, married and a father to 2 boys, who he hopes one day to play MLB and support him and his wife in their old age. Danny's second love, mistress even, is sports and Danny is living his dream of being a sports writer right now, thanks to Prosportsblogging.com.