Home Buccaneers NFC Notes: Buccaneers, Falcons, Panthers

NFC Notes: Buccaneers, Falcons, Panthers


Buccaneers QB Tom Brady said the team has to make sure it doesn’t blow 17 point leads just to win on a walk-off touchdown.

“I’d much rather have it not come down to that,” Brady said, via Rick Stroud. “In the end they all count the same. We’ve got to learn from it and move on. Obviously, we’re playing for a division championship next week, which is pretty exciting for all of us.”

Buccaneers HC Bruce Arians credited WR Breshad Perriman for staying ready despite not getting many opportunities.

“Man, he had a great year here three years ago, and he was our No. 1 at the end of the year when Chris and Mike were out,” Arians said. “He had 100-yard ballgames, so we know he can do it. He’s got great speed, he’s big, he’s active in the blocking. With this offense, you wait for your turn, and when your turn comes you better make the play or you don’t get any more turns.”


There have been a lot of bumps in Falcons HC Arthur Smith‘s first year in charge. But the Falcons currently find themselves at 6-7 and still in the playoff picture in the NFC. It reflects positively on Smith and his staff that they’ve been able to overcome a roster that’s one of the shallowest in the league given their cap situation to get Atlanta where it is now. 

“It’s what we envisioned,” Smith said via the Athletic’s Jeff Schultz. “You have to deal with reality. The cap’s absolutely brutal. But we knew that; it’s not like it’s a secret. We knew there was going to be a lot of roster turnover when we got here.”

“You see what you’re really about,” he added later. “Are you really going to do what you say you’re going to do, be sober-minded about it and take it as it comes, or are you going to fly off the handle and react to things that are out of your control? I like this job. You test all the stuff you believe in.”


The tenor surrounding the Panthers and QB Cam Newton is far different than it was a few weeks ago when he scored two touchdowns on his first two touches in a 34-10 win against the NFC-leading Cardinals. Since then, Carolina has dropped a pair of winnable games and fired OC Joe Brady following a disaster of an offensive performance in Miami.

“Do I think I had something to do with it?” Newton said on Thursday via ESPN’s David Newton. “The competitor in me, absolutely, yes. Because the truth of the matter is you don’t lose your job because of success. Where I’m at now is doing what I can control to make sure that I have a job, too. Let’s just be honest.”

Carolina promoted RB coach Jeff Nixon, a longtime friend of HC Matt Rhule, to offensive coordinator. Nixon becomes just the third Black play-caller in the NFL currently — joining Chiefs OC Eric Bieniemy and Buccaneers OC Byron Leftwich after Lions OC Anthony Lynn was relieved of those duties a few weeks ago — but Newton pointed out that if Carolina doesn’t start executing better, that’s not going to matter. 

“It’s a great feel-good story,” Newton said. “But once again, it’s the NFL. This is a production-based league. I don’t know if there’s a need to say anything else. Am I excited for the opportunity [Nixon has]? Yes. Am I also disappointed about the opportunity? Yes. Obviously, you had Joe who was here prior to.”

“Man, I’m here to win,” Newton added. “When we win, everyone else gets promotions. When we don’t, people get cut along the way.”

  • Rhule said after Sunday’s loss to the Falcons that Newton will remain the starter while calling for improvement from Newton and backup QB P.J. Walker: “We can’t have multiple-turnover games.” (Darin Gantt)
  • Panthers WR Robby Anderson thought Nixon had the team more prepared than they had been and put them in a position to win. (Joe Person)
  • Panthers WR D.J. Moore is day-to-day with a hamstring issue. (Person)
  • Rhule added Monday it’s possible QB Sam Darnold can be a factor down the stretch but he’s out for two more weeks. (Person)

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