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Blog: Panthers extend win streak to 8, defeating Bucs 27-6

Posted December 1, 2013

The Carolina Panthers improved to 9-3 on the season and won their 8th straight game with a 27-6 win over Tampa Bay.

6:43 fourth quarter; Carolina 27, Tampa Bay 6: Panthers Graham Gano hit a 22-yard field goal to give Carolina a 27-6 lead in the fourth quarter.

10:58 third quarter; Carolina 24, Tampa Bay 6: Cam Newton passed to Ted Ginn Jr. for 36 yards as he snuck in just right of the pylon for the touchdown.

0:30 second quarter; Carolina 17, Tampa Bay 6: Cam Newton topped off a long drive with a one yard rushing touchdown to extend the Panthers lead to 17-6.

6:26 second quarter; Carolina 10, Tampa Bay 6: Graham Gano hit a 23-yard field goal after the Panthers drove down the field in 13 plays covering 76 yards.

2:19 first quarter; Carolina 7, Tampa Bay 6: Rian Lindell hit a 53-yard field goal just off the inside of the right upright. 

6:15 first quarter; Carolina 7, Tampa Bay 3: After a long Cam Newton scramble for 56 yards, Newton threw a 16-yard touchdown pass to Brandon LaFell for the score.

9:10 first quarter; Tampa Bay 3, Carolina 0: Mike Glennon led the Buccaneers down the field through the air but they couldn't convert. The Bucs opted for a 27-yard field goal for the early lead.


The Carolina Panthers have yet to play the team they are chasing for first place in the NFC South, but that will change very soon.

And there in lies the dreaded trap.

The Panthers, riding a franchise record-tying seven-game win streak, can't afford to look past the suddenly-hot Tampa Bay Buccaneers this Sunday at Bank of America Stadium.

Carolina's string of victories comes after a 1-3 start and has the club right behind the 9-2 New Orleans Saints for the top spot in the division. The Panthers will visit New Orleans next Sunday before hosting the Saints two weekends later.

But first the Panthers welcome to town a Buccaneers team that has followed up an 0-8 start with three straight victories. Tampa Bay is now looking to become the first team since the 1978 St. Louis Cardinals to follow up a winless eight-game start with four consecutive victories.

Carolina was a contributor to Tampa Bay's slow start, dealing the Bucs a 31-13 setback on Oct. 24 as Panthers quarterback Cam Newton threw a pair of touchdown passes and ran for another.

A victory by the Panthers this Sunday would keep up the recent trend of the two teams alternating series sweeps for a fifth straight season.

The victory over the Buccaneers put the Panthers at 4-3 and above .500 for the first time since the end of the 2008 season and the club has since matched is longest winning streak first set in 1996.

Carolina did so by rallying to beat the Miami Dolphins 20-16 last Sunday. Newton capped off an 80-yard, go-ahead drive by finding tight end Greg Olsen in the end zone from a yard out with 43 seconds to play.

The Panthers trailed 16-6 at the half, but Newton ran in from five yards out to score 6:52 into the third quarter and the Carolina defense pitched a second-half shutout.

"We didn't play as well as we're capable of in the first half and (the Dolphins) had a lot to do with it as well. But we came out in the second half and got the opening kickoff and we got some energy," said Panthers head coach Ron Rivera. "I thought the defense continued to play with a lot of effort. We did some really good things but we did some silly things. We gave up too many big plays."

Newton threw for 174 yards and was picked off once while rushing for 51 yards on eight carries. Carolina ran for 136 yards total, while Olsen and wideout Steve Smith both caught five passes.

Tampa Bay, meanwhile, has sandwiched a pair of three-point victories around a 41-28 rout of the Atlanta Falcons on Nov. 17. The Bucs won for the first time in five road games this season by besting the Detroit Lions 24-21 this past Sunday.

The Buccaneers forced the Lions into a number of turnovers, grabbing four interceptions and recovering a fumble. Cornerback Leonard Johnson took a pick 48 yards for a score late in the second quarter and rookie corner Johnthan Banks sealed the win with a late interception with Detroit in field goal range.

"Our secondary really stepped its game today," said Bucs quarterback Mike Glennon. "That is one of the best passing offenses over there, and they have the best receiver (Calvin Johnson) of our time. So the job the secondary did today was amazing."

Glennon threw for 247 yards, a large chunk of that on an 85-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Tiquan Underwood less than a minute into the fourth quarter to cap the scoring.

Underwood finished with two touchdowns, while running back Bobby Rainey was held to 35 yards on 18 carries a week removed from a 163-yard game on the ground.

WHAT TO WATCH FOR

While recording four interceptions, the Bucs' secondary did allow Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford to complete three touchdown passes and rack up 297 yards, while the run defense yielded 104 yards on the ground.

Tampa Bay linebacker and leading tackler Lavonte David will need his unit to stay disciplined against Newton, who has rushed for five touchdowns and posted a 10.6 passer rating in five previous meetings.

Newton has been a touchdown machine this season, throwing 17 scoring passes while also leading the club with five rushing TDs.

"I think his confidence level right now is very high," Olsen said of his quarterback. "I think he feels really good about what we do in the passing game I think he feels really good about both the designed runs and his ability to extend plays when things break down. That's what just makes him so hard, because he's not a sitting duck back there."

That is what Tampa Bay is up against, though the defense will have strong safety Dashon Goldson back from his one-game suspension for a helmet-to-helmet hit versus Atlanta.

However, talented linebacker Mason Foster (55 tackles, 2 INT) missed the Lions game with a concussion, while cornerback Darrelle Revis did not play in the second half due to a groin injury.

Banks stepped into Revis' role and was able to keep Calvin Johnson out of the end zone, while safeties Kelcie McCray and Keith Tandy, who had an interception, helped fill Goldson's role.

"It is tough, but at the same time you've got guys that stepped up. When one guy goes down ... you've got guys that are biting at the opportunity," said McCray. "We don't wish for anybody to get hurt or be out, but we've got guys that look for those opportunities to go in and make a play such as Banks, or (cornerback Danny) Gorrer, or myself."

Tampa Bay head coach Greg Schiano has taken his fair share of criticism this season, but his decision to part ways with Josh Freeman and go with the rookie Glennon has looked good as of late.

The 23-year-old Glennon has set an NFL rookie record with a touchdown in each of his first eight starts and he is just 74 passing yards shy of passing Freeman's club-rookie record of 1,855 set in 2009.

In his last two games, Glennon has completed 77.3 percent of his passes and completed four TD passes to zero interceptions for a 142 passer rating. He has 10 touchdowns to one pick in his last six games.

Schiano said that Glennon has done a good job of not trying to force plays and is throwing the ball down the field with confidence.

"That is the development or the maturation of a quarterback," added Schiano. "I think we're all seeing it right in front of our eyes. I think this is a guy that certainly, as long as he continues on this trajectory, you'd love to have as your quarterback for a long time."

While Glennon has weapons such as Underwood and Vincent Jackson (58 receptions, 5 TD), the tight end position has seen better times. Tom Crabtree joined Luke Stocker and Nate Byham as tight ends on injured reserve after tearing his biceps versus Detroit, leaving rookie Timothy Wright as the lone tight end on the roster until Kyle Adams was signed this week.

Wright has been solid, ranking second on the club with 34 catches for 366 yards to go along with a pair of touchdown catches. His first career scoring grab came versus the Panthers.

Carolina is hoping to have defensive end Charles Johnson back after he missed Sunday's game versus the Dolphins due to a sprained knee. He is a half-sack shy of becoming the first player in franchise history to have nine sacks in four straight seasons.

OVERALL ANALYSIS

Tampa Bay's recent surge may be a good thing for the Panthers at may have prevented them from taking the Buccaneers too lightly and looking past this game.

"We are facing a good team that is now playing with confidence, said Rivera. "We knew they were a good team when we played them earlier and now they are showing it."

Now Tampa Bay will need to show it against Carolina's third-ranked defense, one that leads the NFL with just 13.7 points allowed per game. That is bad news given that Tampa Bay is averaging only 19.2 points per game and is 31st with 303.4 yards per game.

"You have to finish strong. You finish strong, you'll be heading into 2014 with a great mindset," said David. "We have a great football team and you look around this locker room, we have a great group of character guys, leaders everywhere. Once this season finishes out, then roll over into 2014, we're going to hit the ground running."

The Bucs' defense did well against the pass-heavy Lions, but will be put to the test by a Newton-led offense that can move the ball a variety of ways.

27 Comments

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  • BISHOP5 Dec 1, 9:43 a.m.

    With that D, should be a W...

  • GunnyGoesArrrgh Dec 1, 9:55 a.m.

    ^^^^

    SHOULD, be, BB5, but the Panthers have a lot of players dinged up - Stewart and Williams and others, on offense. This is a game other Panthers teams would lose; I'm hoping that's not the case today. Glennon is doing a solid job at QB for the Bucs. I hope the Panthers realize the challenge they are facing today and don't mail it in.

  • BISHOP5 Dec 1, 10:33 a.m.

    ^^^^

    SHOULD, be, BB5, but the Panthers have a lot of players dinged up - Stewart and Williams and... View More

    — Posted by GunnyGoesArrrgh

    They're having a great year. Cam isn't throwing it around like some of the other QBs, jgunn, but the O balance & the play of the D has 'em where they need to be. I see where they're ranked in the top 10 in rushing, playing great D, = more wins. When Cam does throw, he's protecting the ball (17/9 isn't bad, 61.7 comp %). Hopefully, having certain players banged up won't hurt 'em down the stretch.

  • iron fist Dec 1, 11:20 a.m.

    The Panthers should win even with Cam running the offense, the defense will carry them to victory again.

  • BISHOP5 Dec 1, 11:26 a.m.

    The Panthers should win even with Cam running the offense, the defense will carry them to... View More

    — Posted by iron fist

    lol....that D has been very impressive. Kuechly is arguably the best LB in the NFL. If the Panthers had a "Superman", it'd be LK.

  • Toddler10-21 Dec 1, 12:49 p.m.

    BB5, and iron fist I have really lost some respect for Mike Tomlin. You just dont do that!! Then smile about, and make up a excuse about it. Just would have never thought he would do something like that. Panthers shold win today.

  • BISHOP5 Dec 1, 1:00 p.m.

    BB5, and iron fist I have really lost some respect for Mike Tomlin. You just dont do that!! Then... View More

    — Posted by Toddler10-21

    It was very intentional...IMO

  • GunnyGoesArrrgh Dec 1, 2:41 p.m.

    BB5, and iron fist I have really lost some respect for Mike Tomlin. You just dont do that!! Then... View More

    — Posted by Toddler10-21

    It was very intentional...IMO

    — Posted by BISHOP5

    Should have been flagged and penalized during the game. Surprised Tomlin would do something like that.

  • GunnyGoesArrrgh Dec 1, 2:42 p.m.

    Happy so far with the run defense, pass rush, not so much. Of course, as I write this, the Bucs ran for two first downs.

  • GunnyGoesArrrgh Dec 1, 2:43 p.m.

    Another disappearing flag for the Panthers. I do love it.

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    Tomorrow at 12:30 pm on 99.9 The Fan

Scoreboard
Local
Final
UNC 66
BUT 74
Final
ECU 73
HAW 75
Final
DUKE 93
FUR 54
Final
CHA 97
POR 105
Final
NCSU 84
RICH 72
Final
FLA 1
CAR 0
 
Final
PHI 91
BRK 99
Final
ORL 96
GSW 111
Final
CHA 97
POR 105
Final
CLE 113
WAS 87
Final
DET 98
LAC 104
Final
DAL 109
NYK 102
 
Final
ATL 115
TOR 126
 
Final
MIN 86
MIL 103
 
Final
HOU 102
SAC 89
 
Final
OKC 97
UTA 82
 
Final
SAN 106
IND 100
 
Final
PHO 120
DEN 112
 
Half
LAL 51
MEM 46
 
Final
UNC 66
BUT 74
Final
FRES 64
MAR 68
Final
CHAT 61
RMU 46
Final
EMICH 68
ROCH 35
 
Final
MRGST 51
LIB 50
 
Final
HAMP 60
AMER 64
 
Final
BEL 78
DEN 57
Final
UMASS 79
NE 54
Final
JMU 79
SHU 72
 
Final
KNST 84
SAMF 71
 
Final
ECU 73
HAW 75
Final
CHAM 60
MIZZ 74
Final
CCAR 61
LAMON 48
Final
OKLA 75
UCLA 65
Final
ELON 65
UNF 72
 
Final
UWMIL 66
ORU 69
Final
WCU 66
CHIST 61
Final
DUKE 93
FUR 54
Final
BYU 85
PURD 87
Final
EVAN 79
USF 72
Final
COL 71
GTDNS 75
 
Final
VERM 73
BRY 47
 
Final
OSU 91
CAMP 64
Final
LOU 45
CLST 33
Final
UCF 69
DAVID 95
Final
IONA 126
DELST 76
 
Final
OU 78
UGST 83
Final
TOWS 97
GOUCHER 43
 
Final
ND 81
GRAM 54
 
Final
YALE 82
LAF 60
 
Final
GWU 91
LONG 66
 
Final
VT 78
UMO 63
 
Final
WAKE 83
MNTER 49
 
Final
NAVY 67
PSUHARRIS 42
 
Final
NCSU 84
RICH 72
Final
MINN 61
STJ 70
Final
JVU 69
TRINBAPT 57
 
Final
YOUNG 66
UMKC 63
 
Final
UAB 43
WISC 72
Final
CORN 67
CAN 60
 
Final
WVU 103
VMI 72
Final
DEP 74
LEH 86
 
Final
UNT 67
MVSU 52
 
Final
MARS 68
MORE 77
 
Final
TCU 74
RAD 50
 
Final
SELA 86
TENT 65
 
Final
SMU 72
TXSOU 59
 
Final
UTAH 85
TXPA 48
 
Final
LMU 66
UCR 62
 
Final
SCAR 89
UNCA 75
 
Final
SD 86
WAYNEST 69
 
Final
PITT 70
KYST 47
Final
UWGB 59
FLGC 45
 
Final
IOWA 70
NILL 49
 
Final
ORST 69
AUB 71
 
Final
MONT 75
CARROLLMT 52
 
Final
SUTAH 64
EKENT 73
 
Final
NMST 78
FAM 33
 
Final
WYO 65
STET 41
 
Final
EWASH 81
NKENTUCKY 60
 
Final
IDST 57
WLVRN 60
 
1st OT
GEOR 57
UF 55
 
2nd
GONZ 79
UGA 68
 
Final
NIOWA 61
NW 42
 
2nd
CAL 52
CPSL 42
 
2nd
UCD 61
UTST 62
 
2nd
SDST 31
ARZ 32
 
Half
NDAK 42
ALAST 21
 
Half
CSNO 22
PORST 33
 
1st
AKAN 0
PAC 0
 
11:30pm Tonight
OKST
TULSA
Final
NYI 3
WAS 2
Final
BUF 1
WIN 2
Final
FLA 1
CAR 0
 
Final
TAM 4
NYR 3
 
Final
DET 5
PHI 2
 
Final
PIT 4
TOR 3
 
Final
MIN 0
LOS 4
 
Final
COL 2
CHI 3
 
2nd
SJS 0
CAL 0