TAMPA — The Bucs' loss to Carolina was full of disappointment for players and fans, but here are five things you might have missed.
1 For the second week in a row, the Bucs relied heavily on one receiver and saw him go over 100 yards, but the statistics don't show the ones that got away.
Vincent Jackson, overlooked last week, had 15 targets Sunday, finishing with 10 catches for 147 yards and a late touchdown. When the Bucs needed a catch most, however, he and Jameis Winston failed to connect, three times in a row.
Trailing 17-10, the Bucs were at the Carolina 29 with 40 seconds left in the first half, and Winston missed on passes to Jackson for three straight plays — four, if you count an incompletion negated by a defensive holding call. The Bucs had to settle for a field-goal attempt that Kyle Brindza missed.
"I think we left a lot of plays out there on the field," Jackson said after the game. "We're making some very minor fundamental mistakes that are keeping us from getting over that hump. We have all the right personnel I believe in the building to get it done. The fact is we have to execute better."
2 Speaking of which … Lavonte David is still missing the splash plays that made him an All-Pro in 2013. He had an easy interception on the goal line in the third quarter and dropped it — he lay on the ground for a second, aware of the significance — and two plays later, the Panthers had a touchdown and a 31-10 lead.
"It's a play I should have made, a play I had," David said. "Stuff like that, you have to take advantage of."
3 Ryan Delaire's cheap shot on Doug Martin. The officials didn't see it when ex-Buc Delaire went helmet-first into Martin after he was down, but center Joe Hawley did, chasing down Delaire with a shove in response.
"That was a point of emphasis this year, not spearing a guy when he's down," Hawley said after the game. "I was just trying to protect our guys."
The Bucs gave Delaire a bonus after the draft and had him in camp, but he didn't show enough and was among their final cuts. Carolina signed him off the Redskins' practice squad this week, and he surprised with two sacks against the Bucs.
4 Very little recognition of the scoreboard. It's good to see players celebrating a big play, but the Bucs aren't often aware of the scoreboard when they should be.
Just as Austin Seferian-Jenkins high-stepped into the end zone down big in the fourth quarter of the last home game, the Bucs' Danny Lansanah got a third-down sack of Cam Newton — whose Panthers were up 14 points in the fourth quarter — and made the "Superman" gesture in celebration, essentially mocking the guy who had thrown two touchdowns against the Bucs defense.
5 Doug Martin, pass-catching running back. In addition to rushing for 106 yards, Martin caught five passes for 37 yards Sunday — that's more receiving yards than he'd totaled in his past 11 games combined.
He hadn't caught five passes in a game since he was a rookie, and it's promising to see the Bucs working him into the passing game after giving that role more to Charles Sims of late. It might keep Martin on the field more in situations where the Bucs know they're likely to pass late in games.
Contact Greg Auman at firstname.lastname@example.org and (813) 310-2690. Follow @gregauman.