Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Two cents

Tom Jones' Two Cents: A look at Tampa Bay Buccaneers' win over Carolina Panthers

Looking back at the best and worst from Sunday's Bucs-Panthers game.

Best kid

Was it rookie Doug Martin with his 95 yards rushing and 118 yards of total offense? Was it rookie safety Mark Barron with his snot-knocking tackle of receiver Steve Smith? Was it second-year safety Ahmad Black with his interception? Was it rookie linebacker Lavonte David with his team-leading six tackles? All were sensational, but I still consider Gerald McCoy a kid, and the third-year defensive tackle had the type of game that makes you want to believe he has turned a corner. He was constantly in the Carolina backfield, recorded a sack and was a roadblock that created several wrong-way plays for the Panthers. You know, he kind of looked like a No. 3 overall draft pick.

Glass half-full note

Bucs coach Greg Schiano did something Bill Belichick, Tom Coughlin, Tom Landry, Bill Walsh and Bill Parcells didn't do. He won his first NFL game. (Then again, Richard Williamson won his first NFL game, too.)

Glass half-empty note

The Bucs have started 1-0 14 other times in their history and went on to have a winning record seven times.

Most encouraging number

The Bucs had three sacks, and they would have had more had they been playing against any quarterback besides the slippery Cam Newton. If they can average three sacks a game, they would end up with 48, one fewer than they had the past two seasons combined.

Most forgotten

Get up from your chair, open your fridge and check the milk carton. Is LeGarrette Blount's picture on it? We knew Doug Martin would be the Bucs' featured running back, but we expected to see more from Blount. He had three carries, all in the second quarter. On one he made his patented Edwin Moses leap over a would-be tackler, limped off the field because of a cramp and wasn't heard from again. Forget sharing the load. Martin is the man.

Three things that popped into my head

1. That empty chair Clint Eastwood talked to at the Republican National Convention? Was that supposed to be President Obama or Cam Newton? That empty chair had only 4 fewer rushing yards than Newton, who was held to single digits in rushing for the first time in his pro career.

2. Speaking of the president, maybe he should get a game ball for Sunday's victory. The Panthers fled Charlotte last week because of the Democratic National Convention and practiced in Bradenton. I don't know what's in the water down there, but perhaps the Bucs can convince the Saints and Falcons to work out there, too.

3. Soak this feeling in because the Bucs' next opponent, the Giants, are in a crummy mood after dropping their opener to the Cowboys and will have 10 days to hear from the Big Apple tabloids about how lousy they are.

Final thought

I'll leave that to Bucs tackle Jeremy Trueblood: "This is not a one-game season."

Tom Jones' Two Cents: A look at Tampa Bay Buccaneers' win over Carolina Panthers 09/09/12 [Last modified: Monday, September 10, 2012 7:01am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Ryan Callahan encouraged by his return


    Captain Steven Stamkos wasn't the only key Lightning player to make a triumphant return Friday night against Nashville.

  2. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Friday's Rays-Orioles game

    The Heater

    RHP Alex Cobb hates to hear how he "battled through" or "grinded out" a start rather than just dominated, but that's kind of what he did Friday, allowing nine hits and a walk and being charged with two wild pitches but only three runs in earning his 12th win.

  3. Lightning's Steven Stamkos looks close to top form in first game since November

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — The wait felt like forever for Lightning captain Steven Stamkos, having gone 10 months without playing in a game.

    A scramble in front of the Lightning goal has Matthew Peca, far left, and Erik Cernak, middle, helping out goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy during the third period of a 3-1 win against the Predators. Vasilevskiy, who made 29 saves, was “exceptional,” coach Jon Cooper says.
  4. Rays journal: Alex Cobb may have pitched last game in Rays uniform (w/video)

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — RHP Alex Cobb pitched well enough to lead the Rays to an 8-3 win over the Orioles on Friday.

    Wilson Ramos gives thanks after hitting a grand slam during the second inning, putting the Rays up 4-0.
  5. Ww's Odessabeach makes run at Husker Magic stakes final


    ST. PETERSBURG — When Hurricane Irma blew through Florida earlier this month, Ww's Odessabeach remained in her comfort zone.