2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Winless Bucs eye opportunity against Panthers

By FRED GOODALL - AP Sports Writer
    2013-10-23 14:45

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - National TV, a chance to shine with the rest of the NFL watching.

The winless Tampa Bay Buccaneers can think of no better stage to prove they're not nearly as bad as an 0-6 record suggests heading into Thursday's prime-time test against Cam Newton and the surging Carolina Panthers.

The Bucs have lost 10 of 11 dating to last season, six straight at home, and frankly are running out of competition for the label of worst team in the league.

Tampa Bay and Jacksonville are the only teams who've yet to win this season.

''Desperate, that's kind of like the last straw isn't it, if you don't have a win?'' defensive tackle Gerald McCoy said.

''The Giants won (Monday night). I was like: `C'mon now ... another team with a win.' We've got to get one,'' the fourth-year pro added. ''We don't want to be the last ones. We've got to get it.''

Coach Greg Schiano hopes playing at home in a short week in which Tampa Bay doesn't have to travel will help against Carolina (3-3), which has won three of four following an 0-2 start.

Newton completed 81.4 percent of his passes the past two weeks while throwing for four touchdowns and no interceptions in lopsided wins over Minnesota and St. Louis.

''First and foremost, we desperately need a win, right? ... But I think what's most important is the guys recognize that every other NFL player watches this game; at least if they're a football fan they do. The Thursday night game is part of their week,'' Schiano said. ''It's a big part of our league.''

Carolina coach Ron Rivera can relate to Tampa Bay's struggles. He inherited a team coming off a 2-14 season in 2011, and the Panthers have endured some bumps while improving to six wins two years ago, seven in 2012 and rebounding after losing the first two games this season.

''It's hard to win in this league. You go watch the games they play and they've played some good football teams, and they've lost some tough games,'' Rivera said.

''Believe me, I've gone through it. I know exactly how they feel. ... You can play great and have something crazy happen. You can have a ball bounce the wrong way. You can miss a kick, they can make a kick, they can make a great catch,'' Rivera added. ''They're a good football team, it's just a matter of time, keep pushing and keep working. That's the way it is in this league.''

Five things to watch for as the Bucs seek their first win and the Panthers try to climb over .500 for the first time since the end of the 2008 season, when they were 12-4 and last made the playoffs:

EFFECIENT CAM: Newton has suddenly turned into Mr. Efficient. He completed 15 of 17 passes for 204 yards and a touchdown in last week's win over St. Louis, and is 35 of 43 for 464 yards, four TDs and no interceptions over his last two games. The NFC South rival Bucs have taken notice.

''He's starting to become an NFL quarterback. He came in the league on fire, but he still had college-style playing. People didn't know how to react to it. Last year, he still was more college style and people knew how to handle it because they had dealt with it the year before,'' McCoy said. ''Now he's starting to become an NFL quarterback, and that's scary. With as athletic as he is, as strong an arm as he has, he's starting to understand the game more. That's scary to have to deal with that for a long time.''

ANOTHER STEP FOR GLENNON: Rookie Mike Glennon makes his fourth start at quarterback for the Bucs. No one's attempted (130) or completed (76) more passes in his first three games than the third-round draft pick out of North Carolina State.

LOOKING FOR JACKSON: Glennon threw 44 times during last week's 31-23 loss to Atlanta. He targeted WR Vincent Jackson 22 times, connecting 10 times for 138 yards and two TDs. Jackson's looking for his third straight game with at least nine receptions, 100 yards and a pair of TDs.

NO MARTIN: The Bucs likely will be without RB Doug Martin, who injured his left shoulder last week. Rookie Mike James probably will make his first start, with veteran Brian Leonard backing him up. James has 17 carries for 57 yards. He was a sixth-round pick out of Miami, Fla.

KNACK FOR TURNOVERS: Carolina forced three turnovers against St. Louis and has 14 for a plus-5 takeaway/giveaway margin - tied for third in the NFC. The Bucs are even, which puts them right in the middle of the league, and had Schiano wondering why their record isn't closer to .500. ''Usually when you're even, your record's pretty even. You're 3-3, 2-4, 4-2. We're 0-6.''

----

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Frankie HammondAug 27 10:42p

Kansas City Chiefs WR Frankie Hammond Jr. is likely to start in place of suspended WR Dwayne Bowe in Week 1.

Derek CarrAug 27 10:40p

Oakland Raiders QB Derek Carr appears firmly entrenched as the primary backup quarterback behind starter QB Matt Schaub (elbow), even though QB Matt McGloin has posted the best numbers of the preseason.

Wes WelkerAug 27 10:31p

Denver Broncos WR Wes Welker (concussion) made another positive step Tuesday, Aug. 26, in his recovery from another concussion, according to head coach John Fox. Welker has still not [ More ]

Matt SchaubAug 27 10:23p

Oakland Raiders QB Matt Schaub (elbow) will be the team's starting quarterback in Week 1 against the New York Jets assuming his elbow is better and he can get [ More ]

Timothy WrightAug 27 10:23p

The New England Patriots really like TE Timothy Wright, acquired from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for OL Logan Mankins. NFL.com's Ian Rapoport even considers him as the team's 'new' [ More ]

R. Griffin IIIAug 27 09:43p

Washington Redskins QBs Robert Griffin III and Kirk Cousins aren't involved in any kind of quarterback controversy, according to head coach Jay Gruden. The first-team offense has yet to [ More ]

Nate FreeseAug 27 09:27p

Detroit Lions PK Nate Freese has won the kicker job, because the team has released PK Giorgio Tavecchio.

Kory SheetsAug 27 06:53p

Oakland Raiders FS Larry Asante (undisclosed), WR Greg Jenkins (undisclosed) and RB Kory Sheets (undisclosed) all were placed on the team's Reserve/Injured list Wednesday, Aug. 27.

John PotterAug 27 06:43p

The Miami Dolphins placed PK John Potter (hip) on the Reserved/Injured list Thursday, Aug. 27.

Matt JohnsonAug 27 06:33p

The Dallas Cowboys placed TE Jordan Najvar (undisclosed), S Matt Johnson (hamstring), CB Justin Green (undisclosed), LB DeVonte Holloman (neck) and CB Johnny X. Thomas (undisclosed) were all placed [ More ]

L. WestbrooksAug 27 06:23p

The Cincinnati Bengals placed LB J.K. Schaffer (concussion) and CB Lavelle Westbrooks (thumb) on the Reserve/Injured list.

D.C. JeffersonAug 27 06:23p

Carolina Panthers TE D.C. Jefferson (undisclosed) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list Wednesday, Aug. 27.

Wes WelkerAug 27 06:03p

Denver Broncos WR Wes Welker (concussion) has been ruled out of the team's final preseason game Thursday, Aug. 27, but has been exercising and will travel with the team.

Tim BenfordAug 27 05:23p

Dallas Cowboys waived WR Tim Benford Wednesday, Aug. 27.

Wes WelkerAug 27 05:13p

Denver Broncos WR Wes Welker (concussion) has not been cleared to practice at this point but is making good progress.

Jemea ThomasAug 27 05:03p

The Dallas Cowboys claimed S Jemea Thomas (Patriots) off waivers Wednesday, Aug. 27.

Tandon DossAug 27 05:03p

Jacksonville Jaguars WR Ace Sanders (personal) and WR Tandon Doss (ankle) may be able to play in the final preseason game after missing the first three preseason games. Head [ More ]

Josh ScobeeAug 27 04:53p

Jacksonville Jaguars PK Josh Scobee (quadriceps) said he is not sure if will be able to play Week 1 because of his quadriceps injury. PK Kasey Redfern may make [ More ]

D.J. HaydenAug 27 04:33p

Oakland Raiders CB D.J. Hayden (foot) is considered a few weeks away from returning to practice, according to head coach Dennis Allen. Allen said he expects Hayden will be [ More ]

Richard MarshallAug 27 04:23p

San Diego Chargers CB Richard Marshall has been working at safety because of the injury to SS Jahleel Addae (hamstring). Marshall's versatility could help him make the final roster.

Ryan McBeanAug 27 03:53p

The Arizona Cardinals cut DE Ryan McBean Wednesday, Aug. 27.

Tommy KellyAug 27 03:43p

Arizona Cardinals DT Tommy Kelly agreed to terms on a one-year contract Wednesday, Aug. 27. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Josh GordonAug 27 03:03p

Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon's representatives are considering a lawsuit against the NFL which could seek an injunction to put the suspension on hold until the legal process takes [ More ]

Pierre DesirAug 27 02:43p

The Cleveland Browns may consider placing CB Pierre Desir (knee) on the Active/Reserve/Injured list, which would keep him out for at least eight weeks of the season.

Phillip TannerAug 27 01:53p

The Dallas Cowboys will sign free-agent RB Phillip Tanner (Colts), according to sources.

Josh GordonAug 27 01:43p

Updating previous reports, Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon will be allowed to apply for reinstatement after the 2014 season and not after a full calendar year.

Josh GordonAug 27 01:23p

Updating previous reports, Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon will not be allowed at the team's facility during his one-year suspension. The team hoped they would be able to work with him during the suspension.

Zach ErtzAug 27 01:13p

Philadelphia Eagles TE Zach Ertz is expected to be more involved in the passing game this season and has shown the confidence to be a solid pass catcher, according [ More ]

Josh GordonAug 27 01:03p

Updating a previous report, Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon will not be allowed to file for reinstatement during his one-year suspension, according to a source. His representatives will look [ More ]

Josh GordonAug 27 12:53p

Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon will be suspended for the 2014 season after his appeal of the suspension was denied, according to a source.

Cam NewtonAug 27 12:43p

Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton (rib) said he fully expects to be ready to play Week 1.

Rob GronkowskiAug 27 12:13p

New England Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski (knee) continues to make progress in his rehab but likely will sit out the final preseason game. Gronkowski is looking to be ready [ More ]

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group