CHARLOTTE, N.C. — When Cam Newton left the shotgun and commenced creeping towards the road of scrimmage, Buccaneers cornerback Vernon Hargreaves knew precisely what was coming.
The Bucs sniffed out a fourth-and-1 play from the 2-yard line with Hargreaves shoving Christian McCaffrey out of bounds with 1:22 left to perverse a 20-14 win over the Carolina Panthers and cap off a terrific defensive efficiency on Thursday night time.
Jameis Winston threw for 208 yards and a landing, Chris Godwin had 121 yards receiving and a rating and Peyton Barber ran for 82 yards, but it surely was the Bucs protection that received this recreation. Tampa Bay held the Panthers and not using a landing and restricted McCaffrey to 53 complete yards to present coach Bruce Arians his first victory with the workforce.
The goal-line stand, significantly the fourth down play, was simply the icing on the cake.
As Newton cleared out of the way in which, McCaffrey took the direct snap from heart, faked a reverse to Curtis Samuel and raced round left finish however couldn’t discover the sting. He tried to increase the ball, however didn’t choose up the primary down as Hargreaves rode him out of bounds.
“You watch any soccer and also you’ve seen it a couple of occasions,” Hargreaves mentioned of the play. “As soon as I noticed Cam stroll as much as the road of scrimmage and act like he was speaking to me I had a reasonably good thought what was occurring.”
It could be exhausting to think about the Panthers taking the ball out of their 6-foot-5, 245-pound quarterback’s palms prior to now. Even Hargreaves mentioned a couple of years in the past, Newton “positively, 100 p.c” would have tried to run and rating.
However this can be a completely different time for the ninth-year quarterback. Though he has extra TDs dashing than some other QB within the league, he has simply minus-2 yards on 5 carries this season with two fumbles.
“He can’t take them hits like that,” Hargreaves mentioned. “It’s going to eat his physique up. So probably not. We anticipated extra throwing as he’s getting older in his profession.”
Panthers coach Ron Rivera mentioned there’s nothing flawed with Newton’s shoulder or foot that prevented him from working the ball. He believed the Panthers had the precise play known as.
“Sadly, it didn’t work,” Rivera mentioned. “That’s all I can inform. We felt good in regards to the play.”
McCaffrey mentioned it was his job to get into the top zone — or no less than choose up the primary down — and he failed.
“The ball is in my palms and I’ve to make that play,” McCaffrey mentioned. “I’ve to get higher.”
Really your entire Panthers offense must get higher, Newton mentioned.
“It’s exhausting to look defensive guys within the eyes after a recreation like this as a result of we didn’t uphold our finish of the cut price,” Newton mentioned. “All fingers are pointed again to the offense and me particularly.”
Newton completed with 324 yards passing, however was held and not using a landing for the second straight week.
The Buccaneers (1-1) obtained loads of strain on Newton with three sacks coming from Shaquil Barrett. The Panthers failed to achieve the top zone, solely scoring on Joey Slye’s 4 area objectives and a security by Luke Kuechly. They’re 0-2 for the primary time because the 2013 season.
Newton mentioned it’s embarrassing being booed off the sector on some third downs. He mentioned you possibly can’t blame the followers and “they deserve higher.”