NFC South: 2010 Week 12 Wrap-ups

Wrap-up: Ravens 17, Buccaneers 10

November, 28, 2010
A quick wrap-up of Tampa Bay's 17-10 loss to Baltimore.

What it means: This was another game where the Buccaneers lost, but gained respect. Much like their earlier matchup with Atlanta, the Bucs showed they can keep it close with anyone. But they still haven't shown they can beat the big boys. At 7-4, they're now two games behind the Falcons and one behind the Saints. If you want to contend for the NFC South title, or even make the playoffs, you have to win some games against good teams.

What we learned: Quarterback Josh Freeman can beat bad teams by himself. But he needs some help against the good teams and Baltimore is particularly good on defense. The Bucs didn't get a lot out of the running game and Freeman was only ordinary in the passing game.

On the bright side: First-round pick Gerald McCoy, who entered the game with one sack for the season, had two sacks against the Ravens. McCoy has played much better in recent weeks and that is giving the Bucs an interior pass rush -- even though they don't have much of one from the outside.

What's next: It does not get any easier for the Bucs. Although they get to return home next Sunday, they have to play the red-hot Falcons. Atlanta has a 9-2 record, is on a five-game winning streak and has won nine of its past 10 games.

Wrap-up: Browns 24, Panthers 23

November, 28, 2010
Time for a quick wrap-up of Carolina's 24-23 loss to Cleveland.

What it means: We're going to focus on the positive here. There is no quit in these Panthers, and they came very close to getting a win. But, at this point, getting to 10 losses was much more important than getting a win. This one keeps the Panthers firmly on place to get the No. 1 overall pick in next year's draft and, if they were going to win one of their remaining games, it probably would have been this one.

Positive Panthers stat of the day: Rookie quarterback Jimmy Clausen only threw one interception. Former Carolina quarterback Jake Delhomme started for the Browns and only threw two interceptions.

Positive Panthers stat of the day II: Running back Mike Goodson had eight catches. Carolina wide receivers have done that only twice this season. Steve Smith has one nine-catch game and David Gettis has an eight-catch game.

What's next: The Panthers get to make a cross-country trip to play the Seahawks at Qwest Field. That five-hour flight should give the Panthers enough time to throw their Christmas party and coach John Fox's farewell party. Heck, general manager Marty Hurney should make a side trip down the West Coast and present an honorary Stanford degree to Andrew Luck so the quarterback can go ahead and enter the 2011 draft.