Sunday, June 24, 2018
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Panthers stay perfect with wild, nasty win over Giants

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — After one of the strangest and nastiest games this NFL season, Cam Newton had an odd feeling.

His Panthers had just shrugged off a record-tying Giants comeback to remain perfect with a wild 38-35 victory Sunday. Newton, who threw for five touchdowns to further state his case for most valuable player honors, wasn't quite sure what he'd just been through.

"It was kind of a weird feeling in that locker room, and I'm still feeling kind of weird, but not enough to (not) celebrate," said Newton, who also rushed for 100 yards. "We're just trying to find a way to get victories."

New York tied the score after trailing by 28 points in the third quarter. But Graham Gano's 43-yard field goal as time expired made Carolina the fourth team in league history to start 14-0.

It was Carolina's 18th straight regular-season victory. Newton has thrown for 19 touchdowns in the past five games and a career-best 33 in this so-far special season.

But in a game in which Carolina's pursuit of perfection was supposed to be the focus, Odell Beckham's wild play is what many will remember.

The standout Giants receiver was flagged three times for unsportsmanlike contract, including on one play in which he came from the sideline for a helmet-to-helmet block on Panthers cornerback Josh Norman in the middle of the field.

It looked oh so easy when NFC South champion Carolina led 35-7 with 5:32 left in the third quarter. Then the Giants matched San Francisco's 28-point rally — from the same score — against New Orleans in 1980. The 49ers won that game in overtime.

The Giants tied it at 35 when Beckham — involved in a game-long shoving and jawing session with Norman — got behind Norman for a 14-yard touchdown catch with 1:46 to go. Beckham lost his cool several times as Normangot the best of him.

"He's got the maturity of a little kid," Norman said.

But after the Giants tied it, Newton calmly guided the Panthers 49 yards to the winning kick.

"To go out there and just let them drive down the field is just mind-boggling," said Giants cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, who blocked a field goal in the fourth quarter.

Play ranged from chippy to vicious, particularly as the Panthers banged Beckham around. At one point Norman crashed into him and Beckham wrestled Norman to the ground.

Norman also drew a flag for hitting Beckham in the helmet. And after his tying score, Beckham appeared to taunt Norman before he ran to midfield in celebration.

Giants coach Tom Coughlin said he considered sitting Beckham for some plays but didn't.

"He did lose his composure," Coughlin said. "I think throughout the course of the game he regained it."

Beckham tried to explain his actions.

"You are a competitor. I'm a competitor. We are always going to go at it," he said. "Anybody who has played sports — you are competitive and you are going to go as hard as you can."

NFL spokesman Michael Signora said Sunday night: "The disqualification of a player is a judgment made by the on-field officials. The actions of the players involved in unsportsmanlike conduct will be reviewed as per the standard protocol that is followed in all situations of this type throughout the season."

Meanwhile, Newton stayed calm. And the Panthers stayed perfect.

Comments
Greg Auman answers your questions about NFL’s investigation into Jameis Winston

Greg Auman answers your questions about NFL’s investigation into Jameis Winston

There are many unanswered questions and discrepancies about the story of Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston and the March 2016 Uber ride in Arizona that has led to his upcoming three-game suspension for violating the NFL's conduct policy.The Bucs won't ...
Published: 06/23/18
Will this be Jameis Winston’s last season in a Bucs uniform?

Will this be Jameis Winston’s last season in a Bucs uniform?

A t his introductory news conference after being drafted No. 1 overall by the Bucs in 2015, Jameis Winston said to judge him on his actions moving forward."Actions speak so much louder than words, or what they may have read or what they may have hear...
Published: 06/23/18
Ronald Darby’s friend: Jameis Winston got into second Uber ride alone

Ronald Darby’s friend: Jameis Winston got into second Uber ride alone

New details emerged Friday night about the Uber ride in Arizona in March 2016 that led to Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston's three-game suspension to start the upcoming season, including the fact that Winston was in a car that night with a former Vand...
Published: 06/22/18
Chris Godwin on SiriusXM: Bucs have confidence in backup QBs

Chris Godwin on SiriusXM: Bucs have confidence in backup QBs

Bucs receiver Chris Godwin, who has had as good an offseason as any Tampa Bay player, was on SiriusXM NFL radio for a scheduled interview on Thursday night, talking about a range of subjects, including the news of Jameis Winston's suspension to start...
Published: 06/22/18
With Winston suspension, how might Bucs split QB reps in preseason?

With Winston suspension, how might Bucs split QB reps in preseason?

With news that Jameis Winston will be suspended for the first three games of 2018, Bucs coach Dirk Koetter has an interesting decision to make for training camp and especially in preseason games: How does he split reps between Winston and backup Ryan...
Published: 06/22/18
Bucs QB Jameis Winston’s suspension: What they’re saying

Bucs QB Jameis Winston’s suspension: What they’re saying

There are so many sides to the Jameis Winston suspension, and it will continue to be a major Bucs story line through September and beyond. Here's some of the reactions and notes that have already emerged in the first 24 hours since news broke Thursda...
Published: 06/22/18
Welcome back to the dark side, Bucs fans

Welcome back to the dark side, Bucs fans

TAMPA — Thursday was not the end of Jameis Winston in Tampa Bay, but it is in sight.Me? I was sitting at home. I was tired of the NBA draft, even with Tampa's Kevin Knox going to the New York Knicks.So I switched to the NFL Network. An episode ...
Published: 06/22/18
Winston aftermath: Report says Darby wasn’t in car for whole ride

Winston aftermath: Report says Darby wasn’t in car for whole ride

There's no telling how much detail will be disclosed in what the NFL learned in its investigation that led to Jameis Winston being suspended for the first three games of the upcoming season, but some have already been reported in the first 24 hours s...
Published: 06/22/18
Kwon Alexander to Jameis Winston: ‘We gotcha back’

Kwon Alexander to Jameis Winston: ‘We gotcha back’

There are many questions in the aftermath of Thursday's news that Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston will be suspended for the first three games of the 2018 season, but even before the suspension is officially announced, he is drawing support on social ...
Published: 06/22/18
Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Jameis Winston to receive three-game suspension

Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Jameis Winston to receive three-game suspension

Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston will be suspended by the NFL for three games according to reports, and that number could go up if he doesn't meet certain criteria.Rick Stroud explains that the suspension is not for a failure to report the 2016 i...
Published: 06/22/18