Bucs' struggles on offense start up front
Tom Jones, Tampa Bay Times, published 30 October 2017

Believe it or not, this was the coldest weather the Bucs have played in this season. Don't worry, that will change later this season, especially when they head to Green Bay in December. (Oh geez, Green Bay in December. That sounds as fun as a root canal.) Anyway, with temps in the 60s on Sunday at Raymond James, it finally felt a little like football weather. So put on a sweater and check out the grades by Times columnist Tom Jones on Sunday's Bucs-Panthers game.

Whenever you're breaking down something, start at the beginning. In the case of the Bucs offense, that means starting up front. The offensive line not only didn't help the Bucs' cause on Sunday, it hurt it. Time and time again, penalties by the offensive line set back the Bucs at the worst times. On what might have been the drive of the game, the Bucs, only down 7-0 in the second quarter, drove to the Carolina 33 and then started moving backward after penalties to Donovan Smith and Demar Dotson. Next thing you know, the Bucs were punting. Want to know why the Bucs are struggling on offense? Look up front. GRADE: C-minus.

One thing that was easy on the eyes and stomach: Patrick Murray. The Bucs are back in the business of making kicks. Murray has now made three straight field goals, including the Bucs only points Sunday on a 41-yarder. Extra credit: Carolina for not suiting up Roberto Aguayo. He stinks, of course, but who around here is ready for more drama? GRADE: A.

Punter Bryan Anger is back to looking like his Pro Bowl-worthy self. Not that he has been bad recently, but he hasn't been at his absolute best. He looked sensational again on Sunday with three kicks inside the 20. One was downed at the Carolina 2 and another bounced out of bounds at the Carolina 7. Pretty good on such a windy day. Then again, when your punter is the highlight of your day, you've got some serious issues. GRADE: A.

Thanks a bunch, rest of the NFL. They offered no help against the Bucs rivals in the NFC South. The Bucs didn't help their own cause, losing to the Panthers. But the Jets fell to the Falcons and the Bears lost to the Saints. That means the Bucs are now three games behind Carolina and New Orleans and two games behind Atlanta. GRADE: Unsatisfactory.

What an absolutely awful week for Florida football. The Seminoles were blown out and appeared headed to their first losing season since 1976. The Gators lost a game and then their coach. USF lost a shot at perfection. And then you have the Bucs headed to yet another postseason miss. Yes, I know UCF and Miami are having good seasons, but in Tampa Bay, the four teams that mean the most could not have had a worse weekend. GRADE: F.