Panthers beat Buccaneers behind strong rushing attack, two TDs from QB Walker
In the team’s first game since trading Christian McCaffrey, the team rushed for 173 yards.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - The Carolina Panthers snapped a three-game losing streak and won their second game of the year with a 21-3 victory over the division-rival Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday.
It was the first game for the Panthers since trading Robbie Anderson and Christian McCaffrey, but the trio of P.J. Walker, Chuba Hubbard and D’Onta Foreman did enough offensively to pull out a win behind a strong defensive performance.
Walker, who started his second game of the season, took what the defense gave him throughout the afternoon, and didn’t make any crucial mistakes. He looked much sharper than he did a week ago against the Los Angeles Rams, and offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo turned loose the reins some.
The 27-year-old completed 16 of 22 passes for 177 yards and a pair of touchdowns - one from 20 yards out to D.J. Moore, and another from 29 to tight end Tommy Tremble. Both were perfectly-thrown balls.
Sunday’s passing strike was just the second score of the year for the star wide receiver Moore.
Foreman and Hubbard picked up the slack in the running game, stepping up nicely following the trade of McCaffrey.
The two combined for 181 yards on 24 carries, highlighted by Foreman’s 60-yard dash in the third quarter, one play before Hubbard finished the drive with a 17-yard touchdown run. Foreman’s big run was the longest of his NFL career.
Carolina’s defense also gave the team a big boost, holding Tampa Bay to just three in a game that did not feature a single turnover.
The Panthers put up huge defensive stops on two fourth-down plays and forced a field goal in a goal-to-go situation.
One of the game’s greatest quarterbacks of all-time averaged just 5.9 yards per passing attempt against the Panthers’ defense on Sunday.
Cornerback Donte Jackson led the team in tackles against the Bucs, finishing the game with 10.
Sunday’s win marked the first for Steve Wilks as the interim head coach, who was at the helm for his second game following Matt Rhule’s firing earlier this month.
Carolina, now 2-5, will play another division game next Sunday when they travel to Atlanta to take on the Falcons, who at 3-4, sit tied atop the division with Tampa Bay.
Related: “We have to rebuild”: Panthers fans react to trade of Christian McCaffrey
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