A very dissapointing game this week, but it could have been worse. The Buccaneers came in with something to prove after a loss to the Denver Broncos last week. The Panthers came in maybe overconfident after a 34-0 drubbing of the Kansas City Chiefs last week. The Buccaneers beat us 27-3.
Does this mean that the better team won? Not necessarily. Does this mean that we aren't as good as we thought? Definetely not. Is this the game that decides where we are as a team? I don't think so. What this loss means is that we need to regroup, have a good week in practice and come out at Bank of America Stadium next week with something to prove against the New Orleans Saints.
Does this mean that the better team won? Not necessarily.
I guess the real question would be, does the better team ever win this game? Who is really the better team? IMO, this game does not determine the better team. I think it is rare that there is a better team in this rivalry. Actually, I believe that these 2 teams are as evenly matched as possible. Two of the best defenses in the league, matched up against two efficient offenses that want to establish the run with two evenly matched backs. In this rivalry, the winner is the one with the least mistakes. That was the Buccaneers. The Panthers started off with yet another blocked punt. The 3rd of the season, the 2nd for a touchdown. Jake Delhomme threw 3 interceptions, a misleading stat seeing that all 3 were tipped passes from the receivers hands. The Buccaneer defenders were in the right place at the right times.
Does this mean that we aren't as good as we thought? Definetely not.
I think that a game like this, is a game that is played only from emotion. In a rivalry game, I don't think that skill plays a part in the game. A rivalry game is played on emotion, and won or lost on emotion. Who wanted it more; if this was the question, I would definetely have to say the Bucs, and that is why they won. The Panthers played complacent and did not come to play.
Is this the game that decides where we are as a team? I don't think so.
Again, in a rivalry game this big, I don't think you can judge your team from the performance. Perfect example, the Chiefs and Broncos game 2 weeks ago. In rivalry games, any team can win in any game. It is very rare in the NFL, to see any team dominate a rivalry. Especially seeing that Carolina has owned Tampa at Raymond James Stadium since 2002.
I fully expect Carolina to come out next week firing on all cylinders and expect for them to bounce back from this loss with a nice win next week.