Feeling the pressure
Serious protection issues have emerged the past two weeks in front of Bucs rookie quarterback Mike Glennon. The third-round draft pick out of North Carolina State has been dropped at least twice in each of his nine NFL starts, and he was sacked four times last week in Detroit.
On Sunday, led by reserve defensive end Wes Horton, the Panthers put Glennon on the ground five times for minus-40 yards, while keeping Cam Newton clean.
“The whole plan today was to stop the run, get him into third-and-long situations and let our front four cut loose,’’ said Horton, an undrafted rookie out of Southern Cal who posted two sacks Sunday. “We did just that.’’
Horton added three tackles and two QB hits against the Bucs after entering the game with four tackles and zero sacks on the season. He saw increased playing time Sunday with Carolina’s leading sacker, Charles Johnson, sidelined by a knee injury for the second consecutive week.
Bucs left tackle Donald Penn was victimized by defensive end Greg Hardy for a second-quarter sack on third down that led to a Carolina possession at midfield, setting up a touchdown and a 17-6 advantage.
“There were two plays I wish I could really have back,’’ Penn said. “It’s killing me right now. The sack I gave up right before halftime and I had a mental lapse on the second series of the second half. That’s not me and that’s something that’s really eating me up.’’