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Bucs use goal-line stand to beat Panthers 20-14

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By STEVE REED
AP Sports Writer

Players: Graham Gano, Cam Newton, Jameis Winston, Peyton Barber, Curtis Samuel, Christian McCaffrey, Chris Godwin, Joey Slye, Ray-Ray McCloud

Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Vernon III Hargreaves (28) tackles Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey late in the second half of an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Friday, Sept. 13, 2019. Tampa Bay won 20-14. (AP Photo/Mike McCarn)


Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (1) walks off the field following the Panthers 20-14 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers following an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Friday, Sept. 13, 2019. (AP Photo/Mike McCarn)


Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Vernon III Hargreaves (28) tackles Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey late in the second half of an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Friday, Sept. 13, 2019. Tampa Bay won 20-14. (AP Photo/Mike McCarn)


Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Peyton Barber (25) is upended by Carolina Panthers cornerback Donte Jackson during the first half of an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Thursday, Sept. 12, 2019. (AP Photo/Mike McCarn)


Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Kevin Minter, top, and tight end Antony Auclair (82) tackle Carolina Panthers wide receiver Ray-Ray McCloud (14) during the first half of an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Thursday, Sept. 12, 2019. (AP Photo/Mike McCarn)


Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (1) hands off to running back Christian McCaffrey (22) during the first half of an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Thursday, Sept. 12, 2019. (AP Photo/Brian Blanco)


Carolina Panthers wide receiver D.J. Moore (12) is tackled by Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Carlton Davis (33) during the first half of an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Thursday, Sept. 12, 2019. (AP Photo/Brian Blanco)


Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey (22) runs against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the first half of an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Thursday, Sept. 12, 2019. (AP Photo/Brian Blanco)


Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston (3) passes during the first half of an NFL football game against the Carolina Panthers in Charlotte, N.C., Thursday, Sept. 12, 2019. (AP Photo/Brian Blanco)


CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) When Cam Newton left the shotgun and began creeping toward the line of scrimmage, Buccaneers cornerback Vernon Hargreaves knew exactly what was coming.

The Bucs sniffed out a fourth-and-1 play from the 2-yard line with Hargreaves shoving Christian McCaffrey out of bounds with 1:22 left to preserve a 20-14 win over the Carolina Panthers and cap off a terrific defensive performance on Thursday night.

Jameis Winston threw for 208 yards and a touchdown, Chris Godwin had 121 yards receiving and a score and Peyton Barber ran for 82 yards, but it was the Bucs defense that won this game. Tampa Bay held the Panthers without a touchdown and limited McCaffrey to 53 total yards to give coach Bruce Arians his first victory with the team.

The goal-line stand, particularly the fourth down play, was just the icing on the cake.

As Newton cleared out of the way, McCaffrey took the direct snap from center, faked a reverse to Curtis Samuel and raced around left end but couldn't find the edge. He tried to extend the ball, but didn't pick up the first down as Hargreaves rode him out of bounds.

''You watch any football and you've seen it a few times,'' Hargreaves said of the play. ''Once I saw Cam walk up to the line of scrimmage and act like he was talking to me I had a pretty good idea what was going on.''

It would be hard to imagine the Panthers taking the ball out of their 6-foot-5, 245-pound quarterback's hands in the past. Even Hargreaves said a few years ago, Newton ''definitely, 100 percent'' would have tried to run and score.

But this is a different time for the ninth-year quarterback. Although he has more TDs rushing than any other QB in the league, he has just minus-2 yards on five carries this season with two fumbles .

''He can't take them hits like that,'' Hargreaves said. ''It's going to eat his body up. So not really. We expected more throwing as he is getting older in his career.''

Panthers coach Ron Rivera said there is nothing wrong with Newton's shoulder or foot that prevented him from running the ball. He believed the Panthers had the right play called.

''Unfortunately, it didn't work,'' Rivera said. ''That's all I can tell. We felt good about the play.''

McCaffrey said it was his job to get into the end zone - or at least pick up the first down - and he failed.

''The ball is in my hands and I have to make that play,'' McCaffrey said. ''I have to get better.''

Actually the entire Panthers offense needs to get better, Newton said.

''It's hard to look defensive guys in the eyes after a game like this because we didn't uphold our end of the bargain,'' Newton said. ''All fingers are pointed back to the offense and me specifically.''

Newton finished with 324 yards passing , but was held without a touchdown for the second straight week.

The Buccaneers (1-1) got plenty of pressure on Newton with three sacks coming from Shaquil Barrett. The Panthers failed to reach the end zone, only scoring on Joey Slye's four field goals and a safety by Luke Kuechly . They are 0-2 for the first time since the 2013 season.

Newton said it's embarrassing being booed off the field on some third downs. He said you can't blame the fans and ''they deserve better.''

WINSTON AVOIDS TURNOVERS

After throwing two pick 6's last week, Winston played a turnover-free game.

And with the defense playing well, that was good enough.

''I thought he was outstanding,'' Arians said. ''He had a hell of a week as far as mentally preparing and getting ready for this ball game. I think that's the type of game he can play.''

NEWTON THROWS DEEP

After fielding plenty of questions about attempting only one pass of more than 20 yards downfield in the season opener against the Rams, Newton connected on a 44-yard strike to Curtis Samuel late in the first quarter. It was one of handful of deep balls the quarterback threw.

JEERS TO CHEERS

After fumbling his first two punt return attempts, Ray-Ray McCloud was greeted with sarcastically cheers as he fielded his third punt cleanly. But the jeers quickly turned to cheers when McCloud raced up the middle of the field for a 39-yard return.

SLYE GUY

Undrafted rookie Joey Slye made all four field goals, including a 54-yarder. He's 6 of 7 on the season in place of the injured Graham Gano.

INJURIES

Buccaneers: Linebacker Devin White left the game in the first quarter with a knee injury and cornerback Jamel Dean suffered a lower leg injury in the third. Neither player returned to the game. Kevin Minter, who replaced White, was given the game ball after finishing with eight tackles.

Panthers: None reported.

UP NEXT

Buccaneers: Host New York Giants on Sept. 22.

Panthers: At Arizona on Sept. 22.

Player Notes
David Johnson Oct 17 2:50pm ET

Arizona Cardinals running back David Johnson (ankle) returned to practice on Thursday after sitting out on Wednesday. There shouldn't be any drama this week over whether Johnson will suit up. He'll be out there in an excellent Week 7 matchup against the Giants as the Cardinals lead back once again. Consider him a surefire RB1 this Sunday. Chase Edmonds will continue to spell Johnson in the backfield and remains one of the better fantasy handcuffs out there.

From RotoBaller

Matt Ryan Oct 17 2:50pm ET

Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan has been outstanding for fantasy owners all year. He has eight total touchdowns over his past two games and hasn't been held under 300 passing yards yet this season. This week, Ryan will face a Rams Defense that has shown some vulnerability this year. Ryan and the Falcons return home after two straight road losses and will look to improve on their 1-5 record. Expect Ryan to throw a lot of passes in this game, enabling him to top 300 yards once again with a good chance to score multiple touchdowns.

From RotoBaller

Julio Jones Oct 17 2:50pm ET

Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones has been held out of the end zone since Week 3 and held under 60 receiving yards in two of his past three games. The Falcons have been spreading the ball around more this year, heavily integrating tight end Austin Hooper into the offense. But make no mistake, Jones is still the team's unquestioned No. 1 target in the passing game, and it's one of the most productive passing games in the entire league. Jones might have some down games with his target share decreasing from previous years, but he'll still produce solid numbers more often than not. Look for him to catch about six or seven passes for around 100 yards with a good chance to score this week.

From RotoBaller

C.J. Mosley Oct 17 2:40pm ET

New York Jets linebacker C.J. Mosley (groin) said that he will play on Monday night against the Patriots. Mosley has been out since the season opener with a severe groin injury, but it looks like he's targeting this Monday as his return to action. The Jets Defense/special teams just hasn't been the same without their prized offseason acquisition. He will certainly boost the interior of their defense if he returns, but it won't be enough to make Gang Green a streamable defense in fantasy against the undefeated Patriots on Monday night.

From RotoBaller

Dawson Knox Oct 17 2:40pm ET

Buffalo Bills tight end Dawson Knox has had a solid rookie year so far and has 137 receiving yards on 12 targets over his past three games. This week, the Bills have a favorable matchup against the Dolphins. Knox should be involved in the offense, but his degree of involvement is a big question. Tyler Kroft (ankle), who was signed to be the team's starting tight end in the offseason, has returned to practice without limitations and appears slated to make his debut for the team this week. It's unclear how much Kroft will play but he'll certainly take some snaps away from Knox. If you're starting Knox, you're essentially hoping for a touchdown, which is a tough thing to gamble on. Avoid him if you can.

From RotoBaller

Buffalo Bills Oct 17 2:40pm ET

The Bills Defense has been fantastic so far this year and this week they'll have their easiest task to date. The Bills host the lowly Dolphins in Week 7. The Dolphins have scored a total of just 42 points over five games this year. Even the Redskins held them to just 16 points. The Bills should wreak havoc on Josh Rosen and company, forcing a few turnovers and tallying multiple sacks on the day. They should be one of the top-producing defenses on the week. Start them with confidence.

From RotoBaller

Duke Williams Oct 17 2:30pm ET

Buffalo Bills wide receiver Duke Williams had a fantastic debut for the team in Week 5, catching all four of his targets, including the game-winning touchdown. He figures to be the team's second outside wide receiver for now, behind No. 1 receiver John Brown. However, slot receiver Cole Beasley still receives a heavy dose of targets and tight end Dawson Knox is also in the mix. Williams could be a sneaky start this week against the Dolphins if Brown (ankle) misses the game. Brown was a limited practice participant in Wednesday's practice. However, if Brown is active, just keep an eye on Williams.

From RotoBaller

Zac Taylor Oct 17 2:30pm ET

Cincinnati Bengals left tackle Cordy Glenn (concussion) was cleared to return from his concussion on Wednesday, but he and the team have been at odds regarding his head injury, its symptoms, whether he's able to return and the need for second opinions, according to multiple sources. Cincinnati fined Glenn $200,000 for conduct detrimental to the team and Glenn at one point told head coach Zac Taylor to cut him. The second-round pick back in 2012 has yet to play this season and feels the team was trying to rush him back. He would be a huge upgrade to the team's atrocious offensive line, but it doesn't look like he'll be back in Week 7 against the Jaguars.

From RotoBaller

Jimmy Graham Oct 17 2:30pm ET

Green Bay Packers tight end Jimmy Graham (ankle) missed practice for the second straight day on Thursday. It's particularly concerning since the team's top three receivers -- Davante Adams, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Geronimo Allison -- have also yet to practice and are all in danger of sitting out in Week 7 against the Raiders. The veteran Graham could be available if he gets in some practice on Friday, so we'll have to keep an eye on his status. Although he hasn't done much for fantasy owners this year, he'll be as close to a must-start as ever this Sunday if the Packers are missing some of their receiving threats.

From RotoBaller

Marquez Valdes-Scantling Oct 17 2:20pm ET

Green Bay Packers wide receivers Davante Adams (toe), Marquez Valdes-Scantling (ankle, knee) and Geronimo Allison (concussion) remain sidelined at practice for the second straight day this week on Thursday. Adams has missed the last two games with turf toe and seems doubtful to play in Week 7 against the Raiders. MVS and Allison are also on the wrong side of questionable right now, so they must practice on Friday to have a chance to play. Green Bay would be down to Jake Kumerow, Allen Lazard and rookie Darrius Shepherd if all three of Adams, MVS and Allison are inactive. That'd obviously be terrible news for quarterback Aaron Rodgers this weekend. No matter what, expect Green Bay to lean on both running backs Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams in this one.

From RotoBaller

Marquise Brown Oct 17 2:20pm ET

Baltimore Ravens rookie wide receiver Marquise Brown (ankle) remains sidelined at practice for the second straight day Thursday. Brown missed practice all of last week and the Week 6 game, and he's looking unlikely to play again this weekend against the Seahawks. None of Willie Snead, rookie Miles Boykin or Seth Roberts stepped up in the passing game with Brown sidelined last week, so all three of them are desperation dart throws, at best, for a flex spot if Brown misses his second straight contest. Tight end Mark Andrews remains quarterback Lamar Jackson's favorite target outside of Brown.

From RotoBaller

A.J. Green Oct 17 2:20pm ET

Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green (ankle) said he still has "a little ways to go." He hasn't practiced this week and isn't expected to make his season debut in Week 7 against the Jaguars. With Green out at least another week, Tyler Boyd and Auden Tate will remain the team's top two receivers. Against a Jaguars team now without cornerback Jalen Ramsey, Boyd has WR1 upside in a great bounce-back spot this Sunday. Tate will have flex appeal for those hurting at the position or in need of a body because of bye weeks. Continue to stash Green everywhere. He'll be Cincy's top wideout whenever he returns.

From RotoBaller

Travis Benjamin Oct 17 2:10pm ET

The Los Angeles Chargers placed wide receiver Travis Benjamin (quadriceps) on Injured Reserve on Thursday and signed defensive tackle T.Y. McGill in a corresponding move. Benjamin can return later this year, but he should be dropped from all fantasy rosters in deeper leagues. The 29-year-old had just six catches on 16 targets for 30 scoreless yards in five games this year. With Dontrelle Inman also on IR, Geremy Davis figures to be the team's No. 3 wideout behind Keenan Allen and Mike Williams. He won't be fantasy relevant unless there's an injury ahead of him.

From RotoBaller

Patrick Mahomes Oct 17 2:10pm ET

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes' (ankle) injury is a legitimate injury. Sources are saying that the injury is worse than most people think it is, and head coach Andy Reid said it's something that has bothered the quarterback since Week 1. Mahomes aggravated the ankle each of the last two weeks. He has been very reluctant to flee the pocket and has seen his completion percentage drop as a result. Opposing defenses have switched to play man coverage recently with Mahomes ailing. Denver's defense doesn't often play man coverage, but it remains to be seen how they defend the start quarterback Thursday night. The Broncos D has been playing much better in recent weeks and this is no easy matchup, but Mahomes remains a must-start in fantasy.

From RotoBaller

DeSean Jackson Oct 17 2:00pm ET

Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson (abdomen) missed another practice on Thursday. The Eagles were optimistic about Jackson playing this weekend for the first time since Week 2, but that's looking like more of a long shot if he can't get on the practice field. A notoriously slow healer, D-Jax might be more likely to come back in Week 8 against the Bills on the road. The Eagles desperately need Jackson's deep-threat abilities to open up their offense. If he sits out again, Alshon Jeffery, Nelson Agholor and Mack Hollins will continue to operate in three-wide sets on Sunday night against the Cowboys.

From RotoBaller

Wayne Gallman Oct 17 1:40pm ET

New York Giants running back Wayne Gallman (concussion) practiced in full on Thursday. After missing last Thursday's contest, Gallman looks to be on track to return in Week 7 against the Cardinals. However, Saquon Barkley (ankle) is also practicing in full and should be able to return after a two-game absence. Gallman will be a little-used backup for the Giants if Barkley is starting and playing his normal allotment of snaps. Gallman would only be on the RB2/3 borderline if the Giants play it cautious and hold Barkley out for another week. With Barkley healthy, Gallman is strictly a handcuff for Barkley owners.

From RotoBaller

Chris Thompson Oct 17 1:40pm ET

Washington Redskins running back Chris Thompson (toe) remained sidelined at practice for the second straight day Thursday. It's looking unlikely that Thompson plays in Week 7 against the 49ers while dealing with a minor case of turf toe. Adrian Peterson should see another heavy workload this Sunday, but it might not matter against San Fran's strong defensive front. If Thompson is inactive this weekend, expect Wendell Smallwood to handle most of the pass-catching duties out of the backfield. He'd strictly be a desperation RB3/flex in deep PPR leagues.

From RotoBaller

Phillip Dorsett Oct 17 1:30pm ET

New England Patriots wide receiver Phillip Dorsett (hamstring), who missed last Thursday's game, was moving around well at practice on Thursday. Dorsett is on track to play on Monday night against the Jets. It's welcomed news, too, as Josh Gordon (knee) is questionable to play after getting injured last Thursday. It's looking like Julian Edelman and Dorsett will be New England's top two receivers for this week. Dorsett will have sneaky flex appeal for fantasy owners in a good matchup if Gordon doesn't play.

From RotoBaller

A.J. Green Oct 17 1:20pm ET

Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green (ankle) will not practice again on Thursday. The Bengals aren't rushing their No. 1 receiver back, and he's highly unlikely to play in Week 7 against the Jaguars. With Cincy's bye coming in Week 9, it's possible that Green doesn't make his season debut until Week 10 against the Ravens. The Bengals (0-6) have no reason to rush the veteran at this point in a lost season. With Green still sidelined, Tyler Boyd will have WR1 upside this weekend against a Jaguars Defense that just traded their top cornerback in Jalen Ramsey. It's a great week for Boyd to bounce back from his clunker in Week 6. Auden Tate also has flex appeal at home in this matchup.

From RotoBaller

Mitch Trubisky Oct 17 1:20pm ET

Chicago Bears head coach Matt Nagy said that quarterback Mitch Trubisky (shoulder), who practiced in full on Wednesday, is "feeling good." All signs point to Trubisky returning in Week 7 to face the Saints after missing the London game in Week 5. If that happens, backup Chase Daniel will go back to holding the clipboard. The Saints allow the 11th most fantasy points per game (24.1) to signal-callers, but Trubisky and Chicago's passing game has been wildly mediocre through five games in 2019. It's best to treat Trubisky as a low-upside, midrange QB2 if he returns to action in Week 7.

From RotoBaller