Did you know Tampa Bay's defense is rated as 4th in the league?
Well not last night.
The Panthers obliterated the Bucs in a 38-23 win to claim the NFC South title.
It came down to two major things:
Running Backs: DeAngelo Williams and Johnathon Stewart combined for 301 rushing yards. As I predicted in my preview blog, I knew these two would be key in Carolina's win. Williams and Stewart not only demonstrated skill, but they showed strength and toughness coupled with the will to win. You can't teach that, it's a gift. This tag team is a close contender for the best duo since Shaq and Kobe. I'm just sayin...
Offensive line: Can you say domination?
In my Panthers Preview I said...
The Panthers would win because of home field advantage... they did, and now they are 7-0 at home!
Jake Delhomme would have to avoid the INT.... he made 2 INT's but his back's made up for his mistakes.
Julius Peppers needs to step up...... he blocked an extra point after a touchdown and had a big sack on the Bucs' Jeff Garcia! [Thanks B-Moore, (see comments) lol]
It would come down to coaching.... Fox out-coached Gruden. The Panthers' defense played smarter, and tougher. And the Bucs failed to find a way to stop Carolina's brutal O-line.
The Panthers would wear black helmets... Well, they didn't.
Top 3 Moments in the Game
3. When Julius Peppers blocked the Bucs' PAT
2. Late in the 4th when the Panthers made a 4 play drive for a TD in 2 minutes!!! Who does that?!!! (all four plays were rushing yards by J.Stewart and D.Williams)
1. In that same 4-play drive...when Ronde Barber got stiff armed TWICE in 2 different plays back to back. I was laughing so hard, I think a single tear fell from my eye.
And I think this picture says it all:
TAMPA TELL ME HOW MY A** TASTES!