Ira’s 10 Takeaways From Bucs-Panthers

October 11th, 2016



If the Bucs go on to make some noise in the NFC, this was the game they will look back on. It wasn’t pretty — at times it was downright ugly — but style points don’t count in the NFL. After a victory shaped by turnovers, here are 10 tasty takeaways to devour:

* How essential was Monday night’s upset? The last time the Bucs were 2-0 in their division built on two road wins, Tony Dungy was pacing the sidelines in a 1997 season that turned around a forlorn franchise still playing in the NFC Central.

* Tampa Bay established its physicality from the start with a 15-play drive that featured 10 runs by Jacquizz Rodgers, who hit the holes with authority on the same day tap dancer Charles Sims hit the I.R. list. The Bucs maintained possession for 13:11 in the opening quarter and, as Mike Evans aptly put it, “We just wanted to bully the bully.”

* A game-winning field goal by Roberto Aguayo doesn’t mask a major issue going forward. Dirk Koetter’s post-game comments were blunt and to the point regarding a rookie kicker who has struggled now for two months. Aguayo hit the right upright and hooked another kick wide left. If he wasn’t a second-round draft pick, he’d be long gone. Simple as that.

* Despite missing five starters, including three off their defensive line, the Bucs found a way to win on the road against a desperate team. Amazingly, this was the first Buc game in the past five years that was tied after three quarters. During crunch time, Tampa Bay proved to be the better club.

* Brent Grimes proved he remains an exceptional athlete at the age of 33. The free agent cornerback turned in a huge play in the fourth quarter, leaping high to pick off Derek Anderson when Carolina had first-and-goal from the 1-yard line.

* That ill-fated pass was directed toward Greg Olsen, who terrorized the Bucs all evening with nine catches for 181 yards. The Bucs had no answer for Olsen, who is on his way toward a third consecutive 1,000-yard season. For my money, he’s the second-best tight end in the league behind Rob Gronkowski.

* The pained look on the face of Panthers coach Ron Rivera after the game said it all. A season after turning the ball over only 19 times en route to an NFC title, the Panthers already have 14 giveaways. And while Carolina plunged to minus-7 in turnover differential, they passed the Bucs, who dramatically improved to minus-5.

* When the Bucs absolutely needed to execute, Jameis Winston turned to Mike Evans on third-and-7 from the Tampa Bay 17. No surprise there. A misfire at that point would have forced a punt with less than two minutes remaining in a tie game, but Evans freed himself near the right sidelines against Robert McClain for an 11-yard catch that triggered the game-winning drive. Through five weeks, Evans has been Tampa Bay’s best player.

* Besides Aguayo, no Buc was more relieved by the victory than defensive end Howard Jones, who sustained an eventual touchdown drive by the Panthers with a roughing-the-punter penalty because he took a poor angle in an attempt to block the kick. Jones was also part of a disappointing pass rush that failed to register a sack or even a hit against Anderson.

* A maligned Bucs defense wore down a bit in the second half but continued to make strides as Carolina converted only 1-of-8 on third down. Rookie Vernon Hargreaves is playing very well and Gerald McCoy and Robert Ayers could be back for the San Francisco game. A 3-3 record wouldn’t look too shabby before a three-game home stand that includes a nationally televised rematch against the first-place Falcons on John Lynch night.


18 Responses to “Ira’s 10 Takeaways From Bucs-Panthers”

  1. LifeOfABucFan Says:

    Nice and well said…thank you Ira..the HoJo penalty really surprised me..I think he will never make that stupid mistake again..

    Go Bucs!!!!!!!!!!!!

    PS..Shoutout to Bradley Mcdougald!!! He was all over the field, making those great plays..

  2. MadMax Says:

    McDougald showed up! Need to see more of that for sure.

  3. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Says:

    Nice meeting you last night Ira!

  4. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    One more take, Ira…..although we had penalties at very bad times….we only had 5…..that’s quite an improvement.

  5. KoetterTheDumbass Says:

    Koetter is an idiot and should be fired.

  6. Waterboy Says:

    All great points! Agree with MadMax on McDougal.

  7. NewTampaChris Says:

    Isn’t it amazing how some teams consistently re-stock the shelf with good pash rushers (the Panthers), yet others continually swing and miss (the Bucs)?

  8. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Says:

    @NewTampaChris, I agree! Freeny was on the market, and we passed on him. He wound up with Atlanta, and terrorized Denver. The all pro Center Mack also went to Atlanta, and could have been a Buc.
    We let Bennett walk, and Talib and Blount, and don’t even get me started about ASJ.

  9. theodore Says:

    @Ira – Last week you said Rodgers should have been the lead back and keep Sims the 3rd down back. You were exactly right! Gloat a little 🙂

  10. Kobe Faker Says:

    It amazes me how a top 3 receiving running back sucks to writers and fans here in tampa

    Do you fools know how great of skillset sims has?

    Do you know that koetter the clown doesnt know the strengths and weaknesses of his own players and his opponents?

    Do you know that if we had sims in the game receiving passes we would have blown out these carolina chumps by 3 tds?

    Do you that because of sims injury caused partly by stubborn smirk we will not be a playoff team this year?

    The blind leading the blind

  11. Doctor Stroud Says:

    In other words, that was Buc Ball at its finest!

  12. Trubucfan22 Says:

    Sims is not that good. His greats receiving skills caused 2 tipped passes that led to interceptions. So much for his “top 3 receiving RB” status.

    And don’t get me wrong, I cheer louder than anyone when sims is touting the rock, but I just don’t see him as a special talent.

  13. SB with Jameis Says:

    theodore Says:
    October 11th, 2016 at 3:07 pm
    @Ira – Last week you said Rodgers should have been the lead back and keep Sims the 3rd down back. You were exactly right! Gloat a little 🙂
    Pretty much this ^

  14. KingBuc17 Says:

    Nice Ira, love the blunt take on the game. Our old boys Grimes and Vjax had really nice games and did their job. Grimes int was great after he saved the TD with the tackle at the 1. I agree we usually loose those type of games but even after the stupid penalties, missed kicks and Greg Olsen nightmare, we pulled out a road division. Rare.

  15. Pat Says:


    Ok…I’ll bite… your post is either meant as sarcasm or you are C Sims family member, wife or best friend or you do not express yourself well in writing. First off, as an NFL running back Chuck has proven to be a very good, highly skilled receiver. Yes… he does have very good skills for catching the football. He absolutely,positively, 100% cannot be a lead running back on first and second down. He cannot hit the hole as an NFL running back needs to hit the hole. Now…. I will agree with you that there is a problem with how to understand what is happening with the way Chuck was used the previous 2 weeks. I do not think due to Koetter. To me, the blame for Chuck ever getting the ball on first and second down and being asked to run between the tackles is more on Jason Licht for not having a first and second down type of NFL running back ready to go right out of preseason. You have to anticipate that you’re stars are going to get hurt and be prepared that the back ups will be able to do the job . Chuck has never been meant to be a first and second down type of running back in the NFL. He does not have the skill set for that. He is simply a good complementary running back to Doug Martin or even Jacquizz Rogers. Granted he can come in during the game and run between the tackles occasionally but he cannot come out of the gate and be expected to run as the lead back in an NFL game . In short he sucks at it and everybody knew that going in. So… A little bit of blame on Koetter most the blame on the Licht for not having the team prepared with the right kind of running back ready to go. JMHO

  16. SB with Jameis Says:

    @Pat……..Kobe Faker is nothing but a faker. None of us regulars here even read his posts.

  17. Kstoges Says:

    I for once agree with Kobe faker chuck is a straight huge blow to this offense I also though think he can be a lead back one day just not yet he does dance a little behind the line on designed runs and it’s an issue but it’s the only issue with his game he is really good at everything else and I also think he can be developed he will only get better and better

  18. Pat Says:


    It may be true that Chuck turns out to be a great running back however in weeks three and four of this season he was not such a running back and everybody knew that before those games. The Bucs did not manage that situation well as an organization which is why I tagged Jason Licht as the one most responsible. Let’s face it, Licht gambled by not having a reliable backup to Doug Martin that could run the ball at an NFL level for the start of the season. Mike James was released as injured and Peyton Barber is a very raw rookie who actually should have stayed in college for one more year imo. I am an Auburn fan and I had hoped Barber would’ve stayed for one more year.

    Most likely Chuck will continue to be an excellent complementary back to an NFL type of running back who pounds the hole down after down.