Carolina Panthers win favor of British fans in 37-26 victory over Tampa Bay Buccaneers in London
The game was considered a home game for the Buccaneers but you couldn't tell by the number of fans representing the two teams. The Panthers had the best representation in London with nearly double the amount fans visible compared to Tampa Bay fans present.
Allen did not continue his routine of first possession turnovers that was was beginning to be a concern for the coaching staff. But Allen did play composed and convincingly going 20-32 for 227 yards and 2 touchdowns on the day versus Tampa Bay.
Christain McCaffrey did not have the type of performance he did a week ago against Jacksonville where he ran for 176 yards, 3 touchdowns and garnered 237 total yards in the Panthers 34-27 win. He was effective, however, with 2 first-half touchdowns that helped open up the lanes for a well-balanced attack for Carolina. McCaffrey also served as the "igniter-in-chief" as he sparked the Panthers dominated crowd with his juke moves on the way to one of two touchdowns for the running back. His juke moves left several Tampa Bay defenders appear to be simply standing and watching.
The passing attack saw one of its brighter moments early in the 4th quarter from Curtis Samuel on a 13-yard pass from Kyle Allen that he reeled in like a magician. Samuel also rushed for a touchdown earlier in the game. DJ Moore led all receivers and also added 73 yards receiving to the mix. And you can't forget about the reliable Greg Olsen who caught 4 passes for 52 yards.
For all of those who are wondering what was going on at the end of the first half when the Panthers lined up to kick instead of taking a knee or running one of the Myriad plays in Norv Turners archives, it's simple. The Panthers called a fair catch with 1 second left. Head Coach Ron Rivera opted to try a free kick for a field goal. Although Joey Slye missed the free opportunity despite the Tampa Bay players being required to remain 10 yards back it was a pretty good decision in the moment as it could have extended the lead for the Panthers going into the half. The NFL describes the rule as follows:
"After a fair catch, the receiving team has the option to put the ball in play by a snap or a fair catch kick (field goal attempt), with fair catch kick lines established ten yards apart. All general rules apply as for a field goal attempt from scrimmage. The clock starts when the ball is kicked. (No tee permitted.)"
The player of the game would have to be the Carolina Panthers defense. Four different players including James Bradberry (2), Ross Cockrell, Luke Kuechly, Javien Elliott had a total of 5 interceptions and contributed to a franchise record-tying seven takeaways. That number may have been much higher if not for Panthers' cornerback Donte Jackson sitting out due to a groin injury.
It would have been fitting for the stadium to cue the music for "Lonesome Loser" as Jameis Winston headed for the tunnel. Winston went 30-54 for 400 yards, 5 interceptions and one touchdown in the loss.
The Panthers next Sunday off before their next game on October 27 against the San Francisco 49ers at 4:05 p.m on FOX.