Sun Dec 2 4:42pm ET
By FRED GOODALL
AP Sports Writer
Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey (22) celebrates his touchdown against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 2, 2018, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Mark LoMoglio)
Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (1) celebrates a touchdown by running back Christian McCaffrey (22) against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 2, 2018, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Jason Behnken)
Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (1) celebrates with running back Christian McCaffrey (22) after McCaffrey scored against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 2, 2018, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Mark LoMoglio)
Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (1) loses the football as he is sacked by Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Kevin Minter (41) during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 2, 2018, in Tampa, Fla. Newton recovered the ball. (AP Photo/Jason Behnken)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston (3) throws a pass during the first half of an NFL football game against the Carolina Panthers Sunday, Dec. 2, 2018, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) Jameis Winston threw for 249 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to a 24-17 victory over the reeling Carolina Panthers on Sunday.
The Bucs (5-7) won for the second straight time since Winston regained his starting job with team mired in a four-game losing streak.
The fourth-year pro completed 20 of 30 passes. And, for the second week in a row, the 24-year-old quarterback did not turn the ball over.
Meanwhile, Andrew Adams had three of Tampa Bay's four interceptions off Cam Newton, who came into the game saying he was playing the best football of his career, even though the Panthers (6-6) have lost four straight following a 6-2 start.
Winston threw TD passes of 3 yards to Adam Humphries and 13 yards to Chris Godwin in the first half, moving the No. 1 overall pick from the 2015 draft ahead of Josh Freeman as Tampa Bay's career touchdown pass leader with 81.
Newton completed 28 of 41 passes for 300 yards and two touchdowns, an 8-yarder to Christian McCaffrey in the first quarter and a 10-yarder to Devin Funchess that finished a 92-yard drive and trimmed a 14-point deficit to 24-17.
A week after setting a Carolina franchise record with 237 total yards from scrimmage, McCaffrey rushed for 106 yards on 10 carries and had nine receptions for 55 yards.
Godwin, starting in place of the injured DeSean Jackson, finished five catches for 101 yards.
The Bucs sacked Newton four times. And after having just one interception in the first 10 games of the season, the Tampa Bay secondary has six in the past two weeks.
Newton has thrown at least two TD passes in 11 straight games, extending his franchise record. The four-interception game matched a career high.
Panthers: TE Greg Olsen (foot) left in the first quarter and did not return. ... G Trai Turner left in the second quarter with a neck injury.
Buccaneers: Played without three starters, WR DeSean Jackson (thumb), CB Brent Grimes (knee) and T Demar Dotson (knee/hamstring). ... S Justin Evans (toe) left in second quarter and did not return. ... S Isaiah Johnson was evaluated during the second half for a concussion and did not return.
Panthers: at Cleveland, their fourth road game in five weeks.
Buccaneers: vs. New Orleans, finishing stretch of three consecutive home games.
The San Francisco 49ers are expected to use the franchise tag on kicker Robbie Gould if they are unable to work out a multi-year contract extension. San Fran hasn't used the tag since 2012 with safety Dashon Goldson. The franchise tag for a kicker is expected to be around $5 million for one season. In the last two years with the Niners, Gould has made 72 of 75 field-goal tries and ranks as the second most accurate kicker in NFL history (87.745 percent) in his 14 years. Levi's Stadium isn't the easiest place to kick due to frequent wind, but Gould has plenty of experience kicking in bad conditions from his days in Chicago. With San Francisco's offense expected to improve with quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and running back Jerick McKinnon back healthy, Gould could be a fantasy sleeper at the position.
New York Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr. was sought after by the New England Patriots ahead of the last season's trade deadline, according to NBC's Chris Simms, who reported New England was the team 'most aggressively pursuing' Beckham at that point of time.
Fantasy Spin: The Patriots obviously settled on Josh Gordon, but his status is such that Beckham could easily be a target of theirs again in 2019. While Gordon may be able to return again at some point in 2019, New England knows it can't count on him for any length of time. The Patriots' biggest need may be an outside receiver, and the prospect of playing the next two to three years with Tom Brady could be too tantalizing for the team to pass up if they are willing to pay the price to get Beckham.
Arizona Cardinals quarterback Josh Rosen was "OK" after being involved in a minor car accident in Los Angeles on Saturday, and no injuries were reported. In one of the worst offenses in football in his rookie year, Rosen looked pretty bad in his 14 games played. He completed 55.2 percent of his passes for 2,278 yards, 11 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. His terrible offensive line didn't make it easier on him, and he dealt with a lack of weapons around him. Arizona should look to bolster their playmakers around him this season, but Rosen probably won't improve drastically overnight. Until further notice he'll be a weak QB2 with upside.
Houston Texans impending free-agent LB Jadeveon Clowney is unlikely to receive a long-term deal, in the opinion of MMQB's Peter King, because he's not the worker bee that some others are on defense. He's likely to receive the franchise tag.
Indianapolis Colts impending free-agent WR Dontrelle Inman could be a fit for the Minnesota Vikings, according to Bill Barnwell of ESPN.com, and Barnwell believes Inman's size would add a different element to Minnesota's passing attack.
Green Bay Packers impending free-agent DL Muhammad Wilkerson (ankle) could receive another 'prove-it deal' to remain with the team, according to Bill Barnwell of ESPN.com.
Free-agent wide receiver Demaryius Thomas was involved in a car crash near downtown Denver early Saturday, according to Denver police. Thomas' vehicle rolled over after he lost control. He and a male passenger suffered minor injuries and were taken to the hospital, while a female passenger sustained possible serious injuries that weren't life-threatening. The cause of the crash is being investigated, but it doesn't appear that drugs or alcohol played a role. Thomas was released by the Texans last Tuesday after his season ended prematurely due to a torn left Achilles. The 31-year-old had 59 catches for 677 yards and five touchdowns in 15 games with the Broncos and Texans in 2018. He's in danger of missing the start of the regular season and won't have a hot free-agent market for his services. As of now, it's looking like Thomas won't be one to draft in standard-sized leagues in 2019.
New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski remains non-committal about his playing future, but he has shown up to Gillette Stadium multiple times over the last couple of weeks. Gronk might just be receiving treatment for his thigh, but ESPN Boston's Mike Reiss views it as the tight end being in a good place with how the season ended. Gronkowski will be 30 if he plays in 2019, and he remains a big injury risk that looked much slower in 2018. He'd still be a TE1 if he returns for another season, but Gronk is no longer elite at a very weak position.
Washington Redskins senior vice president of football operations Doug Williams said QB Alex Smith (leg) hopefully will be able to play at some point in 2019.
Fantasy Spin: Smith suffered a serious leg injury and there is still not definite timetable for his return. The Redskins likely will add at least one more quarterback this season, but owners in all fantasy leagues probably should avoid the Redskins quarterback situation next season.
San Francisco 49ers restricted free-agent RB Raheem Mostert likely will receive a tender offer this offseason and could even receive a multi-year extension from the team.
San Francisco 49ers impending free-agent Alfred Morris is not expected to re-sign with the 49ers this offseason.
Buffalo Bills WR Zay Jones has the ability to be a slot receiver and played the position during his college career, in the opinion of BuffaloBills.com's Chris Brown.
Fantasy Spin: Jones is coming off a decent season with 652 yards and seven touchdowns. He likely will be a top-three receiver for the Bills next season and could be a late-round option in fantasy leagues.
New England Patriots impending free-agent TE Dwayne Allen could re-sign with the Patriots this offseason, but he would likely have to accept a pay cut, in the opinion of ESPN.com's Mike Reiss. Several people in the Patriots organization like Allen's professional approach, and he has been around Gillette Stadium over the last few weeks.
New York Jets impending free-agent CB Buster Skrine appears unlikely to re-sign with the Jets this offseason since the team has CB Parry Nickerson ready to replace him at cornerback, in the opinion of the New York Post's Brian Costello.
New York Jets impending free-agent DT Steve McLendon appears unlikely to re-sign with the Jets this offseason, in the opinion of the New York Post's Brian Costello.
Los Angeles Rams impending free-agent DE Dante Fowler, DT Ndamukong Suh and S Lamarcus Joyner likely will not receive the franchise tag this offseason, in the opinion of ProFootballTalk.com's Mike Florio.
San Francisco 49ers impending free-agent PK Robbie Gould could be an option for the franchise tag this offseason, in the opinion of ProFootballTalk.com's Mike Florio.
Buffalo Bills impending free-agent DT Jordan Phillips said he is having contract talks with the Bills.
New Orleans Saints impending free-agent RB Mark Ingram likely will not receive the franchise tag this offseason, in the opinion of ProFootballTalk.com's Mike Florio.
Fantasy Spin: The Saints likely will go with Alvin Kamara as their main running back next season and probably will be a No. 1 running back in most fantasy leagues. Ingram should receive interest from several teams during free agency and could be a No. 2 fantasy back depending on his situation.
Denver Broncos QB Joe Flacco also was coveted by the Washington Redskins, helping spark the Broncos to make the trade with the Baltimore Ravens on Wednesday, Feb. 13.
Fantasy Spin: Just as the QB he is replacing (Case Keenum) was in 2018, value Flacco as a mid-to-low-end QB2 next season in an offense that isn't expected to feature a high volume of passes.