CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Tom Brady said the message this week from coach Bruce Arians was about having “mental toughness.”
The Bucs showed plenty of it on Sunday.
After having practices delayed by storms earlier in the week, a mechanical issue that delayed their flight to Charlotte by 6 1/2 hours on Saturday, and the lingering memory of a 38-3 loss to the Saints last week, the Buccaneers rebounded nicely with their most impressive win of the season.
Brady threw for 341 yards and three touchdowns, Ronald Jones set a franchise-record with a 98-yard touchdown run, and the Buccaneers bounced back from a dreadful defeat with a resounding 46-23 win over the Carolina Panthers.
“He said from the beginning, there’s no excuses,” Brady said of Arians' message. “We played better than we did last week, obviously. We just have to do it consistently, continue to make plays and run the ball like we ran it today.”
Coming off the most lopsided loss of his illustrious career, Brady threw touchdown passes to Cameron Brate, Mike Evans and Rob Gronkowski, then ran for another score in the fourth quarter to seal the win.
Panthers coach Matt Rhule described Brady’s play as “elite” and “fantastic.”
The Bucs ran the ball just five times last week.