Bucs by the Numbers

200 – Consecutive starts by Buccaneers’ and NFL Ironman, Ronde Barber. It is the longest active regular season game streak in the NFL and the most recorded by a defensive back in history. Last night celebrated this milestone, and Barber answered the call by providing two passes defended, five total tackles, one sack and an interception.

10 – Rushing yards allowed by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense, tying the team’s single-game record. The Bucs held Panthers QB Cam Newton to four yards on five carries, and RB DeAngelo Williams was dropped for -1 yards on six carries. For the record, in 2011, Carolina was third in the league with 150.5 rushing yards per game.

37 – Minutes that Tampa Bay controlled the ball. Tampa Bay rushed the ball 36 times on the night for 130 yards, 95 of them coming from rookie RB Doug Martin.  Thanks to two defensive turnovers and allowing only two 3rd down conversions, Tampa controlled possession throughout the game.

18 – Consecutive field goals made by Buccaneers kicker Connor Barth, the longest streak in Buccaneer history and the longest active streak in the NFL. He made three against the Panthers, from 20-, 36- and 40-yards out.

1 – Win. When it comes down to it, it’s the number that matters the most. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers begin their season with a win at home, defeating the Carolina Panthers 16-10.

Buccaneers Defeat Panthers: 16-10

Following a Carolina Panthers field goal with just under three minutes remaining in the game, the Buccaneers took the ball at their 18-yard line. After a Doug Martin 4-yard run, Carolina used their first time out. Another 4-yard Doug Martin run resulted in third-and-two and another Carolina time out. On the crucial third-down play, Josh Freeman found Vincent Jackson over the middle. Carolina used their final time out.

On the next play, Doug Martin took a hand off up the middle for 15 yards, leading to the two-minute warning and sealing the Buccaneers’ win. The following three plays had Josh Freeman taking a knee, leading to the firing of the cannons, marking the Buccaneers Week One victory over their division rivals, 16-10.

UPDATE: Josh Freeman ended the night completing 16 of  24 passes for 138 yards and one touchdown. Doug Martin led the game in rushing with 95 yards on 24 carries. Vincent Jackson was the top Bucs’ receiver with four catches and 47 yards. Mike Williams added the Buccaneers’ lone touchdown. Connor Barth was three-for-three on field goal attempts, hitting from 36, 20 and 40 yards.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense held the Carolina Panthers to just 10 rushing yards and added two interceptions and three sacks on Carolina QB Cam Newton. Ronde Barber, who was being honored at tonight’s game for achieving his 200th consecutive start, highlighted his milestone with five tackles, two passes defended, one sack and one interception. The special teams added a blocked punt.

Josh Freeman to Mike Williams Puts Buccaneers on the Board First

Freeman connected with WR Mike Williams on a 6-yard TD pass over the middle to take the Bucs to a 6-0 nothing lead 9 minutes and 40 seconds into the game.

Both RB Doug Martin and FB Erik Lorig saw plenty of time on the 80-yard drive. Doug Martin ran the ball 5 times for 26 yards, while catching 2 passes, including a spectacular jumping grab over Luke Kuechly. Lorig added 2 receptions for 20 yards.

Connor Barth connected on the extra point, bringing the score to 7-0.

Michael Koenen’s ensuing kickoff travels through the end zone for a touchback. Carolina will begin their second drive of the game on the 20-yard line.

Panthers vs. Buccaneers: Coin Toss and Kickoff

Buccaneers captains, Josh Freeman, Vincent Jackson, Gerald McCoy, Ronde Barber, Adam Hayward and Andrew Economos, took to the center of the field for the first coin toss of the season. Tampa Bay won the toss and deferred. Carolina will receive the opening kickoff.

Matt Koenen’s kickoff went out of the end zone for a touchback. The Carolina Panthers will start the first quarter from their own 20-yard line.

Panthers vs. Buccaneers: Inactives

The following players are inactive for today’s game:

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: WR Arrelious Benn, CB Myron Lewis, CB Anthony Gaitor, CB E.J. Biggers, LB Naaje Goode, T Jamon Meredith, DE Wallace Gilberry

Carolina Panthers: QB Jimmy Clausen, S D.J. Campbell, RB Jonathan Stewart, G/C Jeff Byers, T Bruce Campbell, DT Sione Fua, DE Thomas Keiser