Sports

Carolina's defense gets job done in setting tone for 6-2 Panthers

Carolina's defense gets job done in setting tone for 6-2 Panthers

"The secondary is shaping up nicely and the more they play together the more chances they will have", Rivera said. We have to continue to get turnovers moving forward if we want to make it to the big one [Super Bowl].

The Buccaneers benched Jameis Winston after a dismal four-interception performance against the Cincinnati Bengals last week, opting to go with Fitzpatrick against the Panthers and then reassess.

Inconsistency on offense has been part of the problem.

The loss dropped the Bucs to 2-3 in games started by Fitzpatrick. Winston, who's thrown 10 interceptions in four games, is 1-2. Turnovers have become a way of life for Winston, who has now thrown thirteen interceptions over a five-game stretch dating back to last season.

A common denominator in Tampa Bay's three victories is the Bucs have played mostly with the lead and found a way to hold off New Orleans, Philadelphia and Cleveland late.

Defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul said players have to own the ineffectiveness. It's not on the coaches. I am not sure we could ever say the same for Matt Kalil. "I'm exhausted of the coaches saying they have to take it because it's up to the players to play ball".

Larry Drew struggling to find right combination for Cavs
Drew was the associate head coach on Ty Lue's staff, and had been coaching the team since Lue's firing just over a week ago. The Cavs dropped to 1-8 on the season on Saturday night, getting blown out by the Charlotte Hornets, 126-94.

However, Koetter said he doesn't see anything wrong with Newton's arm strength. Mistakes on offense and special teams contributed to falling by 28 in the second quarter.

Carolina scored 21 points in the second quarter, fifth-most in team history and built a 35-7 first-half lead.

McCaffrey rushed 17 times for a team-high 79 yards and two touchdowns and caught five passes on six targets for a team-high 78 yards.

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 can't keep digging ourselves into these holes", Fitzpatrick said.

"We go out, we get behind, we get killed in the second quarter, then rally like (heck) in the third quarter and then everybody thinks we're back in it and then we fade off at the end", Koetter 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". "A lot of teams don't switch because they have an untested backup or they're afraid to put their backup in there - and we don't have either of those".


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