Final Score: 16-10 Bucs
After starting the game strong, the Buccaneer offense was held in check during the second half, just as the Panthers offense began to get hot. Tampa Bay won this game not by capitalizing on their opponents' mistakes, but just by forcing their opponents to make mistakes.
As one of the first games of the 2012 NFL regular season, we have a matchup between two division rivals, each with playoff hopes for later down the road.
This should be a great one.
The game takes place at Raymond James Stadium, home to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Bucs are hosting the Carolina Panthers, their NFC South rivals who beat them twice last year, outscoring them 86-35 in those two games.
But don't expect the Bucs to roll over today, as they come with a re-energized and super-charged roster, featuring free agent signees Vincent Jackson and Carl Nicks, as well as draft selections Mark Barron and Doug Martin.
Meanwhile, Cam Newton looks to build on the best season by a rookie quarterback in NFL history. He'll have some more help from his defense this time around, as the Panthers return stud linebackers Jon Beason and Thomas Davis, who both missed much of 2011, in addition to having the potential Defensive Rookie of the Year, Luke Kuechly.
Unfortunately for local Bucs fans, the game will be blacked-out, meaning that it will not be broadcast within a 75-mile radius of the stadium.
For everyone else, be sure to tune in to FOX at 4:25 p.m. ET.
After a long, strong drive, punctuated by a TD pass, the Bucs went up 7-0.
On their second drive, the Bucs were stopped in the red zone and forced to kick a field goal.
On their third drive, the Bucs were stopped on the goal line and forced to kick a field goal.
The Panthers came back in the third quarter to put seven points up.
Another field goal for the Bucs.
Following a 51-yard bomb, Carolina was made to kick a field goal after a goal line stand by the Bucs.