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FFL: Week 8 | NFL: Week 8

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
Washington Redskins Oct 23 11:00am ET

The Washington Redskins Defense will head to Minnesota on Thursday night to take on a Vikings team that has averaged 36 points a game over the last three weeks. Minnesota's recent offensive success directly coincides with its newly established willingness to air the ball out from the arm of Kirk Cousins, who has averaged 325 yards per game and thrown 10 total touchdowns in this span. Adding fuel to the grease fire that is Washington's fantasy outlook for Week 8, the Vikings also have a running back by the name of Dalvin Cook who just so happens to lead the NFL in rushing yards per game at 103.6. Even with Adam Thielen in danger of missing this game for the Vikings, there is no conceivable reason to deploy the Redskins defense in fantasy lineups this week.

From RotoBaller

Jeremy Sprinkle Oct 23 10:50am ET

Washington Redskins tight end Jeremy Sprinkle will presumably start for the fourth consecutive week on Thursday night against the Vikings, but that starting role has yet to yield any positive fantasy results. Vernon Davis has missed Washington's last three games, a time frame in which Sprinkle has caught a total of six passes for 54 yards. Even a visit to the endzone can't necessarily save him from a usage rate that low. The Vikings are allowing double-digit PPR production on average to tight ends, but the last thing you want to do is needlessly roll the dice on a risky Thursday night player and have it go up in flames. Whether Davis (who is currently listed as doubtful) unexpectedly suits up or not, there are safer and more proven options at tight end than Sprinkle for Week 8.

From RotoBaller

Paul Richardson Oct 23 10:30am ET

Washington Redskins wide receiver Paul Richardson has a relatively favorable matchup on his hands Thursday, but has done nothing this season to convince fantasy owners he can capitalize. The Vikings are allowing an average of 15 receptions and 159 yards per game to opposing receivers, along with 11 total touchdowns. Richardson hasn't caught a pass for two straight weeks, and Terry McLaurin is a productive target vacuum in Washington's offense, so the reliability scale tips in the latter's direction. As much as the Redskins would probably like to involve someone other than McLaurin and diversify their attack, Richardson simply cannot be trusted as a fantasy play in any format based on his output to this point in the season.

From RotoBaller

Trey Quinn Oct 23 10:30am ET

Washington Redskins wide receiver Trey Quinn has totaled seven catches for 56 yards in his last three games. His only double-digit PPR outing came all the way back in Week 1 when he happened to score a garbage-time touchdown. With a short week to prepare for Thursday night's game and a Redskins offense that hasn't looked any good for pretty much the entire season, Quinn's outlook remains grim even against a Vikings Defense that has been somewhat friendly to wide receivers. If he miraculously has a productive night against Minnesota after catching three or fewer passes in four consecutive weeks, it unfortunately needs to happen on the waiver wire.

From RotoBaller

Terry McLaurin Oct 23 10:20am ET

Washington Redskins wide receiver Terry McLaurin should be in line for a ton of targets in Thursday night's game at Minnesota, making him the only reasonably safe fantasy option among his teammates. The Vikings have allowed the most receptions to wide receivers of any team in the league, for 1,116 total yards and a league-high 11 touchdowns. McLaurin's well-established rapport with Case Keenum through the first half of the season suggests he should be the pass-catcher tasked with exploiting Minnesota's secondary. Game flow figures to work in his favor as well, as the Vikings could reasonably be expected to jump out to an early lead. McLaurin's volume keeps him in flex territory for WR-needy fantasy teams.

From RotoBaller

Case Keenum Oct 23 10:10am ET

Washington Redskins quarterback Case Keenum will look to bounce back from Sunday's 9-0 loss in which he threw for under 100 yards, but a date with Minnesota doesn't provide him with much more fantasy appeal. This should be interpreted more as a lack of faith in Washington's offense than a vote of confidence in the Vikings' relatively exploitable pass defense, but the point remains. The Redskins are averaging 12.9 points per game on offense, and they could be without both of Adrian Peterson and Chris Thompson in the backfield. The hope here from a fantasy perspective is that Minnesota's suddenly explosive offense puts the Redskins up against a massive early deficit, thus forcing Keenum to air it out. Even if the Thursday night game unfolds as such, fantasy owners would be putting a ton of misguided faith in pass-catchers like Paul Richardson and Trey Quinn by starting Keenum in fantasy lineups. The reward does not outweigh the risk.

From RotoBaller

Wendell Smallwood Oct 23 10:00am ET

Washington Redskins running back Wendell Smallwood might be the starter by default in Thursday night's game at Minnesota. Adrian Peterson is questionable with a high ankle sprain, while Chris Thompson continues to nurse a toe injury that held him out of last week's contest. Considering the short week, it wouldn't be surprising to see the Redskins err on the side of caution regarding Peterson and Thompson. They don't have much to play for, and it wouldn't be worth risking further injury to either if one or both are not at 100% health. If Smallwood does have the backfield to himself, volume doesn't outweigh the unfavorable matchup. The Vikings are giving up 3.8 yards per carry to opposing backs, and have surrendered just one rushing touchdown to the position. Smallwood will have to turn in his fantasy value in the receiving game, which is not worth banking on. He is best avoided unless you find yourself in desperate need of a PPR flex.

From RotoBaller

Phillip Gaines Oct 23 2:03am ET

Houston Texans CB Phillip Gaines (ankle) was placed on the Reserve/Injury list Tuesday, Oct. 22.

From TheHuddle

Keion Adams Oct 23 1:43am ET

New York Giants LB Keion Adams (knee) was released from the Reserve/Injured list Monday, Oct. 21.

From TheHuddle

Pernell McPhee Oct 23 12:53am ET

Baltimore Ravens LB Pernell McPhee (triceps) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list Tuesday, Oct. 22.

From TheHuddle

Brent Urban Oct 23 12:23am ET

Chicago Bears DE Jonathan Harris was released Tuesday, Oct. 22; the move cleared a spot for the signing of DL Brent Urban.

From TheHuddle

Elijah McGuire Oct 23 12:23am ET

Cleveland Browns RB Elijah McGuire was released from the practice squad Tuesday, Oct. 22.

From TheHuddle

Calvin Ridley Oct 22 10:53pm ET

Atlanta Falcons WR Calvin Ridley was listed as the No. 2 receiver on the version of the Falcons' depth chart released following the trade of WR Mohamed Sanu Tuesday, Oct. 22.

Fantasy Spin: Ridley was already Atlanta's second-most productive receiver behind Julio Jones, but he stands to gain at least a few extra targets per game without much depth behind the top two wideouts for the Falcons.

From TheHuddle

Kerryon Johnson Oct 22 9:53pm ET

Detroit Lions RB Kerryon Johnson (knee) was placed on Reserve/Injured list Tuesday, Oct. 22.

From TheHuddle

Duke Johnson Oct 22 9:13pm ET

Houston Texans RB Duke Johnson out-snapped RB Carlos Hyde 39-to-26 in the Week 7 matchup against the Indianapolis Colts Sunday, Oct. 20.

Fantasy Spin: Johnson received a total of nine touches and racked up 56 yards. It was his first start of the season but Carlos Hyde still had more carries. Johnson has the higher ceiling in PPR formats, but Hyde is the safer option in standard leagues.

From TheHuddle

Sterling Shepard Oct 22 8:43pm ET

New York Giants WR Sterling Shepard (concussion) said Tuesday, Oct. 22, he's confident he'll return to the field soon. 'Oh, I'll be back out on the field,' Shepard said. 'It's just whether it's gonna be this week or next week.'

Fantasy Spin: Shepard has been limited to four games this season, but he has been able to rack up 25 receptions on 34 targets for 267 yards and a touchdown. The more experience QB Daniel Jones acquires while Shepard is out of the lineup will only boost the receiver's production upon his eventual return. He's a solid buy-low candidate.

From TheHuddle

Kasim Edebali Oct 22 7:53pm ET

Free-agent DE Kasim Edebali (Eagles) signed an undisclosed contract with the Oakland Raiders Tuesday, Oct. 22.

From TheHuddle

Nate Orchard Oct 22 7:43pm ET

Free-agent LB Nate Orchard (Dolphins) worked out for the Atlanta Falcons Tuesday, Oct. 22, along with free-agent DL Shane Ray (Ravens) and DE Quinton Bell (Raiders).

From TheHuddle

Willie Henry Oct 22 7:43pm ET

Free-agent DT Willie Henry (Ravens) worked out for the Philadelphia Eagles Tuesday, Oct. 22.

From TheHuddle

Marcus Gilchrist Oct 22 7:33pm ET

Free-agent S Kentrell Brice (Buccaneers) worked out for the Denver Broncos Tuesday, Oct. 22, along with fellow free agents S Marcus Gilchrist (Raiders) and DE Joel Heath (Texans).

From TheHuddle