Tampa Bay Buccaneers Head Coach Bruce Arians "Proud" Of His Defense
The Bucs defense stops Christian McCaffrey in his tracks (Photo: John Byrum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers battled to earn their first win of the season, a 20-14 win on the road against divisional rivals, the Carolina Panthers

In the second quarter, Jameis Winston completed a 20-yard pass to Chris Godwin for a touchdown, which gave the Bucs a 10-9 lead at half-time. 

Running-back Peyton Barber rushed into the end zone for a 16-yard score in the third quarter. The Bucs stood up on defense and managed to force a turnover on downs late in the fourth quarter. 

Winston went 16-for-25 for 208-yards and a touchdown in the game, while Newton completed under half of his attempts for 333-yards.

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Arians "Proud" Of His Defense

After the opening-day defeat to the San Francisco 49ers, it was a short week for both teams as they went head-to-head on the first Thursday Night Football of the new season. 

Panthers running-back Christian McCaffrey was kept quiet, with only 53 total yards in the game. Tight-end Greg Olsen had six receptions for 110-yards and Bucs Head Coach Bruce Arians was “proud” of his defense. 

“I’m really proud of the way the defense played all night,” he said in his press conference. “I thought we handled (Christian) McCaffrey really well. (Greg) Olsen, on the other hand, gave us a problem, but I’d rather have him giving us a problem than McCaffrey. 

“Todd (Bowles) has a great plan coming in and our guys played hard for 60 minutes. It wasn’t perfect, but they played extremely hard for 60 minutes. Our running game is building strides, last week was good against one hell of a front. To come here (Carolina) and win is a hard thing to do, we’re really, really pleased.” 

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Arians Lets You Play Football, Says Winston

Prior to the game, it was essential that Winston learned from his mistakes in Week 1 because the Bucs would only stand a chance if he didn’t turn the ball over. 

He did just that. Winston didn’t turn the ball over against the Panthers and his pass to Godwin was the first touchdown of the game. 

Describing his new head coach to the media, Winston admitted that Arians allows him to go out there and play with freedom. 

Winston said: “Genuine and authentic. He lets you play football and that’s something we really admire about him. He teaches you the game of football and it’s a blessing to have him as our Head Coach.”