Rapid Reaction: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

TAMPA, Fla. -- A few thoughts on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' 20-14 loss to the Carolina Panthers on Sunday at Raymond James Stadium.

What it means: Let's keep in mind this was only one game, and it was a close loss to the defending division champion. It's not time to write off the season or even hit the panic button because the Bucs did show some spunk late in the game. But, geez, if Tampa Bay's offense doesn't get more productive and consistent, it could be a long season.

Offensive woes: Offensive coordinator Jeff Tedford, who had an unspecified medical procedure two weeks ago, was in the press box, but he wasn't calling plays. Team officials said Tedford, who has been cleared only for light duty, was providing an "extra set of eyes." What Tedford saw out of his offense wasn't good at all. The Bucs let the Panthers take control of the game in the first half. In that half, Carolina ran 42 offensive plays while the Bucs ran 15. Carolina had 205 yards of total offense in the first half while the Bucs had 84 -- 54 of which came on a run by fullback Jorvorskie Lane. The Bucs didn't score until the fourth quarter.

Duel of the veterans: Tampa Bay's Josh McCown and Carolina's Derek Anderson have been backup quarterbacks most of their careers. McCown was given the starting job this season, and Anderson got a start in place of an injured Cam Newton. But Anderson had the better day.

Costly injury? Desperate to solidify their offensive line in the preseason, the Bucs traded for Pro Bowl guard Logan Mankins. It seemed like a great idea at the time, but suddenly, there's uncertainty about Mankins. He left the game with a knee injury midway through the second quarter and did not return. If Mankins is out for an extended period, the Bucs, once again, will find themselves in big trouble at guard. They could be back in the market for Richie Incognito, who visited with the team several weeks ago.

Game ball: Fullback Jorvorskie Lane. With a 54-yard run, he accounted for more than half of Tampa Bay's rushing yardage. He also was the only bright spot of the first half.

What's next: The Bucs host the St. Louis Rams next Sunday.