The Tampa Bay Buccaneers allowed 30 or more points for the sixth time this season. The Carolina Panthers offense compiled over 400 yards.They finished with a season high 42 points on the way to their sixth win of the season.
Two punts and an interception for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers offense to begin the game, gave early momentum to the Panthers. Christian McCaffery and Alex Armah each scored a rushing touchdown to give the Panthers a 14-0 lead. The Buccaneers closed the quarter with a long drive down the field deep into Carolina territory.
The second quarter began with Tampa Bay converting the long drive into seven points on a touchdown pass from Fitzpatrick to Howard. From there on, it was all Carolina. Curtis Samuel began the second quarter scoring with a 33-yard run on a reverse play. Samuel was folllwed up by McCaffery who scored his second rushing touchdown of the day from 1-yard away. On the next Panther possession, Cam Newton connected with Greg Olsen for a 17-yard touchdown on third down. Tampa Bay scored a touchdown with 19 seconds remaining in the half to make the score 14-35. The Panthers out gained the Buccaneers 263 to 145 yards in the first half. Cam Newton led with 127 passing yards and Christian McCaffery added 99 total yards. Ryan Fitzpatrick totaled 113 yards with two passing touchdowns in the first half. O.J. Howard caught both first half touchdowns for Tampa Bay, on his way to 22 first half receiving yards. Carolina broke a franchise record for the most points in a half with 35.
Tampa Bay’s defense improved in the second half by forcing back-to-back punts and a stop on fourth down. The Buccaneers outscored the Panthers 7-0 in the quarter on an Adam Humphries touchdown reception. The Tampa Bay defense allowed just 38 yards the entire third quarter and all 38 came on one Carolina drive.
Ryan Fitzpatrick began the fourth quarter by completing a touchdown drive with a pass to Adam Humphries for the second time. The touchdown brought the Buccaneers within seven points. The Panthers responded with a touchdown drive of their own. Cam Newton connected with Curtis Samuel on a 19-yard pass to extend the Carolina lead back to 14 points. A punt and an interception from Fitzpatrick on the next two possessions sealed the victory for the Panthers.
Ryan Fitzpatrick finished with 243 yards, four touchdowns, and two interceptions. Adam Humphries led the team in receiving with eight receptions on eight targets for 82 yards and two touchdowns.
Cam Newton managed 247 yards and two touchdowns on only 25 passing attempts. Christian McCaffery totaled 157 total yards and two touchdowns.
Up next for the Buccaneers, the Washington Redskins travel face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for a 1:00 kickoff.
The Panthers take a trip to Pittsburgh to play the Steelers at 1:00 next week.