Live Blog: Carolina Panthers vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Updates, News & Analysis
The Carolina Panthers (0-1) and Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-0) faced off in the first NFC South matchup of the year in Tampa, Florida.
Carolina dominated the Bucs last season, winning 38-19 on the road in Week 13 and 48-16 at home in Week 16, but Tampa Bay controlled the action in the first game of the season for both teams.
Cam Newton threw for 303 yards and a touchdown, but he also threw a couple of second half interceptions to thwart Carolina's chances.
Carolina ran for a franchise-tying low 10 yards against last season's 32nd ranked rush defense.
The Bucs' Josh Freeman finished the game 16-of-24 for 138 yards and a touchdown after completing 12 of his first 14 first half attempts.
Carolina has a lot of work to do before hosting the New Orleans Saints (0-1) at Bank of America Stadium.
Watching the end of the 49ers vs Packers game with Joe Buck and Troy Aikman calling the action after Mike Martz and Ron Pitts had my ears bleeding through most of the Panthers vs Bucs game.
Tampa Bay running victory formation on first down.
With no timeouts left, the Panthers cannot stop the clock.
Tampa Bay gets the victory, 16-10.
Tampa just wants to run out the clock.
Panthers need to get a stop for a chance to win.
SCORE: Justin Medlock's field goal cuts the Buccaneers' lead to six.
Not sure what Chud is calling with two run plays by Cam inside the 10-yard line.
Medlock puts Carolina on the board with a field goal to cut the lead to six.
Tolbert makes his first big play as a Panther, picking up 20 yards on a first down screen pass.
Newton to Murphy for 51 yards on a deep bomb moves Carolina 71 yards down the field in just two plays.
First and 10 inside the 20.
Panthers are four yards short of their franchise low rushing total, set 12 years ago.
Carolina has six yards rushing with five minutes left in the game after having the third highest rushing total in the NFL last season.
They will have to pass it on every play the rest of the way as they start this drive with 90-yards to go.
Newton just got away with a fumble that would have been disastrous for the Panthers.
6:14 to go and Carolina punts it back to the Bucs.
With 7:52 to go in the game, Carolina is down by nine points with the ball on the 22-yard line.
Check that. Newton is sacked for an eight-yard loss on first down.
SCORE: Connor Barth kicks his third field-goal of the game to extend the Bucs lead to 16-7.
Captain Munnerlyn made a great play to end the Bucs' drive, but Carolina couldn't keep Tampa Bay off the score board.
Panthers defense has played well in the second half, but they have been on the field a lot today.
Starting to get the feeling the Carolina front seven is getting tired.
Bucs are picking up 5, 6, 7 yards every time now.
I always say the Panthers need to run the ball more than they run, but with the Bucs crowding the line of scrimmage they shouldn't run it another time.
Big gain for the Panthers on a deep sideline pass to LaFell and a roughing the passer call goes for naught, though, when they couldn't get another first down.
Special teams rears its ugly head once again for Carolina with Nortman's punt being blocked.
Bucs had 14 first downs in the first half but have been held to just two in the second half.
Panthers force third consecutive Panthers punt but Adams almost turned it over on a botched fair catch.
Panthers are missing Jonathan Stewart this afternoon.
With all of the penalties on the offensive line, it's hard to say whether he would have any more success than Williams, though.
He is more of an up-the-gut runner than D-Will.
With a minute left in the third quarter, DeAngelo Williams just had his first two positive runs of the game.
Newton's big run for a first down called back for a holding penalty on the rookie, Silatolu.
Questionable call by the replacement refs.
Newton responded by throwing up a floater for an interception to end the third quarter.
Dwan Edwards has been the most effective pass rusher for the Panthers today.
Edwards and Hardy just combined for Carolina's second sack of the game.
Small victory for the Panthers keeping the Bucs from scoring following the turnover.
Ronde Barber just ended the Carolina momentum with an interception.
Barber has an interception and a sack in this, his 200th consecutive game.
Replays looked like there could have been interference on that play.
Joe Adams just showed off with a nifty 21-yard punt return after looking like Armanti Edwards on his first return.
Panthers are starting with the ball in Bucs territory for the first time all game.
Momentum could finally start shifting the Panthers' way.
Mike Martz just broke down the Panthers' touchdown play, showing how the play fake helped LaFell get wide open.
Carolina had 109 total yards in the first half and 70 yards on their opening drive of the second half.
It's those halftime adjustments.
Panthers finally get a sack from the newcomer, Dwan Edwards.
SCORE: Cam Newton connected with Brandon LaFell for a 22-yard touchdown.
Three straight completions to Olsen, Smitty and LaFell finally get the Panthers on the board.
And we are back with Tampa getting the ball first to start the second half.
The Panthers' front seven is finally starting to put a bit of pressure on Freeman.
Joe Adams looked like Armanti Edwards on his first punt return of the season.
Don't go away, the second half is scheduled to resume on time.
Rain delay? There's no such thing as a rain delay in football!!
Oh wait, there is.
The NFL has put the game on hiatus due to lightning in the area.
It is no coincidence that Tampa Bay's NHL team is called the Lightning.
FOX just switched over to the San Francisco vs Green Bay game for the final 11 seconds of the first half.
The Panthers only ran the ball six times for negative-1 yard in the first half and Cam Newton completed 12-of-17 passes for 112 yards.
Tampa Bay's Josh Freeman completed 12-of-14 for 122 yards and two touchdowns with both incompletions coming on batted down passes. The Bucs picked up 49 yards on 16 carries in the first half.
HALFTIME SCORE: TAMPA BAY 13, CAROLINA 0
Hangartner couldn't let Silatolu get a false start penalty without getting one himself.
The Panthers had the ball four times in the first half and they punted every time.
Bucs had the ball for seven more minutes than Carolina in the first half.
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