10 quick thoughts from the Panthers loss at Buccaneers in Week 17

(Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Darnold and D.J. Moore
(Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Darnold and D.J. Moore /
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What are some quick thoughts to take from the Carolina Panthers’ loss at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in their Week 17 divisional showdown?

All the marbles were at stake for the Carolina Panthers during their trip to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 17. A chance to take charge in the NFC South was up for grabs, which is a stunning turn of events for interim head coach Steve Wilks after such a torrid start to the 2022 campaign under Matt Rhule’s absolute power.

Carolina produced a convincing triumph over Tampa Bay in their previous clash this season, so the reasons for optimism were evident. However, the Bucs were in no mood to lie down with the division title in sight and Tom Brady still controlling proceedings under center.

As it turned out, the Panthers couldn’t come through in the clutch and fell to a hugely disappointing loss despite having a two-score lead in the fourth quarter.

With this in mind, here are ten quick thoughts from Carolina’s demoralizing defeat at Raymond James Stadium against the Buccaneers in Week 17.

Quick Thought No. 1

Carolina Panthers
(Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Darnold /

Carolina Panthers made the perfect start

If the Carolina Panthers wanted to impose themselves right out of the gate, it was mission accomplished. A sensational opening drive resulted in a Sam Darnold touchdown to Tommy Tremble, which set the tone in no uncertain terms.

This was swiftly followed by a red-zone turnover thanks to Sam Franklin’s peanut punch on Chris Godwin. Although no points came from the fumble, this was Carolina letting the Tampa Bay Buccaneers know they were in for a tough encounter.