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Rapid Reactions: Panthers fall 21-18 at Tampa Bay

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TAMPA, Fla. — The coaches changed. 

The problems on offense remained. 

The Panthers dropped a 21-18 decision to the Bucs at Raymond James Stadium Sunday night, in the first game after the firing of head coach Frank Reich. 

The issues moving the ball through the air remained, as the Panthers passed for just 178 yards as they fell to 1-11 on the season.

Bryce Young finished 15-of-31 for 178 yards with an interception, part of a larger trend on offense. They mixed things up a bit, using some different looks throughout the game. They showed motions they hadn't used before and put Young under center and ran more, giving them a chance to use play-action.

At times, it looked like it might work, as he found DJ Chark Jr. for a few shots downfield, which they hadn't seen lately. 

That gave them a chance late before a fourth-down interception by Bucs safety Antoine Winfield Jr. 

Running back Chuba Hubbardhad a solid game, with 104 yards and two touchdowns, on a new career-high 25 carries. 

His second touchdown cut it to a three-point margin with 5:02 left in the game after Young's two-point conversion run.

But when the Panthers got the ball back, Young was flushed from the pocket on third-and-1 and then was picked off on fourth down.

— Outside linebacker Brian Burns was ejected in the third quarter for throwing a punch at Bucs rookie guard Cody Mauch after an extra point.

The incident happened right after the Bucs threw a 75-yard touchdown pass to (guess who) Mike Evans, which immediately followed a Panthers touchdown drive.

Evans has made a habit of breaking the Panthers' hearts lately, going back to last year's loss in Tampa, which ended their playoff hopes.

— Cornerback Jaycee Horn was back Sunday, but he wasn't on the field for the 75-yard touchdown to Evans or subsequently.

The team had him on a pitch count after he missed 10 games with a hamstring strain. 

The team also got CJ Henderson back after he missed two games with a concussion, and he and Horn were rotating for most of the day.

— The Panthers had a promising drive at the end of the first half unravel on a Justin McCray holding call. It was his second of the first half.

McCray was elevated from the practice squad to start at left guard, making him the sixth player to take snaps there this season. Along with the seven right guards they've used, finding anything resembling continuity has been a struggle.

Last year's starting guards, Brady Christensen and Austin Corbett, played five games between them, and they're on IR now, along with rookie Chandler Zavala .

— The Panthers are now 2-2 all-time when they wear blue britches and blue jerseys.

The first time they wore them was for a 33-14 Thanksgiving win at Dallas in 2015, followed by a 23-20 win over the Saints on Thursday Night Football in 2016. They lost 28-23 to the Eagles on Monday Night Football in 2017 but haven't worn the combination since.

View all the action from the Panthers' game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 13.

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