The Bucs stacked the defense to stop Christian McCaffrey all night in the 20-14 victory on Thursday that dropped the Panthers to 0-2 for the first time since 2013. They showed no respect for Cam Newton as a runner, loading the box to shut down McCaffrey and forcing the quarterback to get rid of the ball quickly when a pass was called.
Newton failed, missing 15 wide-open targets, according to ESPN Stats & Information tracking.
McCaffrey, a week after having 128 yards rushing and 81 receiving, didn’t stand a chance. He had 56 total yards, spending much of the night drawn into blocking blitzing defenders.
HC Ron Rivera said the Bucs did a "green dog," making it look like a blitz was coming and causing McCaffrey to step up and block. Now the Panthers must adjust as they face two road games at Arizona and Houston. The story said it also means Newton must be more effective completing short and intermediate passes. The piece added Newton missed open receivers, but especially when under pressure. Expect the Cards and Texans to try and do the same over the next two weeks.