Published: Wed, November 07, 2018
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Carolina Will Be Tested by Tampa's Top-Ranked Offense

Carolina Will Be Tested by Tampa's Top-Ranked Offense

Panthers safety Eric Reid put together a strong performance in Carolina's win over the Buccaneers on Sunday. Fitzpatrick flourished early in the season filling in while Winston was serving a three-game suspension. However, in his last three starts the Bucs have been outscored 103-27 in the opening half. That move almost won the Bucs the game as Fitzmagic was on the display in the second half and came up just short of a massive come-from-behind win. He averaged 4.8 catches per game for 30.6 yards in the five games since he caught 14 passes for 102 yards in a Week 2 loss at Atlanta.

Fitzpatrick rallied the Buccaneers from a 35-7 deficit, completing 24 of 40 passes for 243 yards and four touchdowns to make it 35-28 and a one-score game in the fourth quarter.

Winston, who was suspended for the first three games of the season for violating the league's personal conduct policy, has thrown six touchdowns and 10 picks in four appearances in 2018.

While Reid was smiling when Ron Rivera awarded him with the game ball, Reid told ESPN Radio after the game that he won't truly be happy until Colin Kaepernick is back in the NFL. He almost rallied the Bucs back last week against Cincinnati after replacing Winston, but the comeback fell short with the Bengals holding on for a 37-34 win.

Defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul said players have to own the ineffectiveness. "When you play young guys, they are going to make mistakes".

B Linebackers: The Panthers seem to struggle to contain the middle of the field and a rare missed tackle by Luke Kuechly led to a big Bucs gain.

Despite their success, Rivera cautioned that the team's offense doesn't exclusively revolve around those two electric players.

Rivera didn't appear concerned about Newton's right shoulder, even though the eighth-year QB has been limited in practice the last two weeks.

"We got beat by communication instead of getting beat physically", Koetter said.

"We know we have the talent, it's just we can't keep digging ourselves in these holes, especially on the road", Fitzpatrick said.

"They have so much of that in their DNA as we prepared for those guys knowing that they'd never give up, they'd be resilient, and they were just one play away". "We're just not a very consistent team and not a consistent offense right now".

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