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Recap Panthers Vs Buccaneers: Is all hope of the Panthers Making the Playoffs Gone?

Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

The Panthers have come crashing down after a fantastic 2015 season filled with high expectations. Coming off a heartbreaking Super Bowl 50 loss the Panthers were expected to rally through another spectacular season getting their revenge against the Broncos. However, the loss to the Broncos in game one was only the beginning of a series of disappointments.

Gettleman has continued to play the game cheaply and it has cost the Panthers big time. Several players expected to have breakout seasons are almost non-existent. A few players to name are Devin Funchess, Kawann Short, Charles Johnson, and even Thomas Davis.

Recap of the first half

Tampa Bay started off strong showing a lot of commitment towards the running game. The once highly ranked Panthers run defense was struggling to slow them down. Tampa Bay put points on the board first with a field goal on the first drive.

The second quarter was a lot of sloppy football on both sides of the ball. Dereck Anderson couldn't keep the offense on the field and Roberto Aquayo missed his second attempt. Cornerback Teddy Williams made a terrible mistake by running into punt returner Ted Ginn, forcing him to fumble. Tampa Bay recovered.

Graham Gano tried to get some points on the board with :35 seconds left in the half after poor clock management by the Panthers, but missed the mark wide left. The Panthers went into halftime with nothing.

Recap of the second half

The Panthers came out of halftime with a sudden burst of energy. Rookie running back Cameron-Artis Payne showed his strength and speed scoring two touchdowns in the third quarter. Jameis Winston connected with Mike Evans for a 26-yard touchdown pass and converted on the two-point conversion, to tie up the game.

The Panthers energy faded away again in the fourth quarter as Dereck Anderson fumbled, threw and interception, and went three-and-out on his final drives.

Aquayo nailed a 38-yard field goal with just under two minutes to go in the game sending the Panthers to the bottom of the division

Is there any hope left that the Panthers can make the playoffs?

With the Panthers record of 1-4 and forth in the NFC South, they have a 6% chance of making the playoffs. Can the Panthers defy the odds against them? Who on the roster can save the day?

Jonathan Stewart was practicing last week and should be good to go next game against the Saints on Sunday. Cam Newton also had a good day in the protocol, which means he will likely play on Sunday. There will be some debate this week about whether he should start or rest for another week or two. Some fans are going to say we need Cam to get back on track and others will say he needs to rest until fully healthy.

Now every game until the end of the season the Panthers have to win. That is a requirement if they want to have a good shot at making the playoffs. Yes, they have been in this position before, but the team needs some changes.