Cam Newton rushed for three scores to break Steve Grogan's NFL record for rushing touchdowns in a season by a quarterback as the Carolina Panthers sent the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to their sixth straight loss with a 38-19 triumph on Sunday.
The Panthers (4-8) have made a habit of finding themselves in close games, but that wasn't the case Sunday. They twice led by 19, marking their largest leads of the season. Newton's three 1-yard touchdown runs give him 13 for the season, one more than Grogan in 1976.
The Bucs (4-8) were without starting quarterback Josh Freeman (shoulder), who has enjoyed great success against the Panthers. Instead, Josh Johnson made his first start since 2009. Johnson threw for one touchdown and one interception and had a team-high 45 rushing yards, but he dropped to 0-5 as a starter.
Carolina shut down Tampa Bay's running game, holding LeGarrette Blount to 19 yards on 11 carries after he topped 100 yards the past two games.
The Panthers improved to 4-0 when Newton does not commit a turnover. They are 0-8 when he has at least one turnover.
Tampa Bay tight end Kellen Winslow had four catches for 41 yards, giving him at least one catch in 88 consecutive games.