Carolina Panthers vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Live Score, Video and Analysis
The Panthers pick up their fourth victory of the season against a Josh Freeman-less Buccaneers team. They now stand at 4-8 and are tied with the Bucs for third place in the division.
Carolina's offense was well balanced, picking up over 220 yards passing and 160 rushing. Cam Newton was efficient, as well as dangerous with the ball. He committed no turnovers, but scored four times, including one run that broke the all-time single season record for a quarterback.
This loss just adds more disappointment to the Bucs' season. Most thought they had a chance at the NFC Wild Card or possibly even the NFC South division title, but Josh Freeman has taken a step back, as have the Buccaneers in general.
Carolina will look to extend its win streak to three against Atlanta next week. A win against Atlanta would be a statement victory for a franchise trying to turn their fortunes around.
Tampa Bay will take on Jacksonville and hope to get Josh Freeman back. They continue to progress their young talent, but a win in Jacksonville would be a major morale boost for a team whose on one of the longest losing streaks in the NFL.
That wraps up our coverage for today!
Newton rolls out and hits Seyi Ajirotutu for the first down as we hit the two minute warning. It appears to be all but over now as Carolina will continue to run down the clock.
Andre Neblett makes the stuff and you have to commend him for his effort today. He's been a huge step up from the play of rookie Sione Fua.
The following play, Charles Johnson makes the sack and the Panthers get the ball back.
Preston Parker has a big return and the Bucs are in Carolina territory. The lead seems insurmountable at this point, but we'll see what kind of comeback the Bucs can mount.
My apologies. They run the ball and then punt.
The Panthers are going super-conservative with this drive. They'll probably throw a short pass on third down and then punt.
The Bucs finally complete a drive as Dezmon Briscoe beats the defense for a long touchdown.
Charles Godfrey has to be one of the most talented safety's in the league. Save Troy Polamalu, no safety plays more physically in run support. He's a great investment for the Panthers.
The Bucs will start their drive at the 35 yard line after a personal foul on the kickoff.
Cam Newton has now broken the record for rushing touchdowns by a quarterback with his 13th of the season.
37-12 Panthers (pending review)
Steve Smith finally finds room and picks up 20 yards.
The crowd is beginning to file out now as Carolina rears up for another score.
Newton finally has time in the pocket and hits Naanee. About every Panther receiver is getting involved besides Steve Smith.
Steve Smith finally breaks open, but Newton doesn't have enough room in the pocket to get him the ball.
A short-lived fight breaks out and the Bucs get called for unnecessary roughness. Carolina has the ball as the third quarter comes to a conclusion.
Jonathan Stewart had disappeared since two big runs in the first quarter, but he now sets up a short third down with a long run on second and 12.
The Bucs fail to convert on third down and another solid drive ends short of the end zone.
The Panthers are struggling to defend the outside run from Josh Johnson and it won't help that boundary corner Darius Butler is down on the field with an apparent injury.
Josh Johnson has time to pick apart the zone again and the Bucs are driving with a long pass and first down run.
A holding call cancels outs a great Sammie Stroughter return. The Bucs have played very undisciplined and it's a great change of pace for Carolina, who've been the third most penalized team in the NFL. Today, they've only committed one penalty for five yards.
Cam Newton takes the ball himself and ties the rookie record for rushing touchdowns by a quarterback.
The coaching staff clearly made the right decision in starting Brandon LaFell. Newton takes a hit and delivers a beautiful downfield throw to the receiver.
The following play, the Panthers run the option and Cam Newton nearly scores.
Carolina goes to the "Wildcat" and DeAngelo Williams picks up the first down after consecutive runs.
They do and Greg Hardy lays a hit on Johnson, who lofts the ball up for Thomas Keiser, who reels in the interception.
Let's see if the Panthers finally blitz on third and long.
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