In Pictures: Panthers Run Past Buccaneers on Monday Night Football
Jonathan Stewart has reason to celebrate.
The Carolina Panthers ran roughshod over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to a 38-23 win before a national audience on Monday night, claiming sole possession of first place in the NFC South in the process.
The Panthers posted nearly 300 rushing yards on the Bucs defense, which had been ranked fourth in the NFL coming in. But Monte Kiffin's squad was no match for the rookie Stewart (115 yards) and the veteran DeAngelo Williams (186 yards), who both found the end zone twice.
The Panthers (10-3) buoyed their chances of securing home field advantage in the NFC. The definitive answer will likely come in two weeks, when Carolina travels to the Meadowlands to take on the Giants (11-2).
Meanwhile, Tampa Bay's (9-4) divisional hopes took a hit, but their Wild Card prospects remain strong.
Stewart and Williams' tag team act marked the first time in NFL history that two running backs on the same team each ran for 100-plus yards, 2 touchdowns and averaged over 7.0 yards per carry.
Panthers fans get ready for some football at (eventually) packed Bank of America Stadium on Monday night.
DeAngelo Williams picks up a portion of his 186 rushing yards.
Jon Gruden can only watch in disgust.
Jake Delhomme tries to escape the rush. Delhomme was 14-of-20 with 176 yards, 1 TD and 2 INT on the night.
Stewart leaps for joy after one of his two touchdowns.
Jeff Garcia had an effective night in a losing cause, completing 24-of-38 for 321 yards and 2 TD.
B.J. Askew and Na'il Diggs
B.J. Askew makes a grab and is wrapped up by Na'il Diggs.
John Fox was all smiles before the game, and likely still is.
Steve Smith had nine catches for 117 yards and a touchdown.
Jermaine Phillips and Muhsin Muhammed
Muhsin Muhammed stretches for a first down with Jermaine Philips on his tail.