Tampa Bay 16, Carolina 10

Sunday, September 9, 2012 4:25 PM
WHEN: 4:25 PM EST, Sunday, September 9, 2012
WHERE: Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, Florida
TEMPERATURE: 83°
HEAD OFFICIAL: Jerry Hughes
ATTENDANCE: 51533

Final Scoring Summary

Final 1 2 3 4 Total
Carolina 0 0 7 3 10
Tampa Bay 10 3 0 3 16

Team Records

Team W/L Home Away Streak
Carolina 0-1 0-0 0-1 L1
Tampa Bay 1-0 1-0 0-0 W1

Recap


Buccaneers 16, Panthers 10:
Josh Freeman completed 16 of 24 passes with a touchdown and Tampa Bay's rejuvenated defense shut down Cam Newton and visiting Carolina.

The Buccaneers looked nothing like the team that allowed an NFL-high 494 points last season, including 87 to the Panthers in a pair of losses in December. They held Carolina to 301 yards - 10 rushing - and intercepted Newton twice as Greg Schiano won his coaching debut.

Ronde Barber had an interception and one of three Tampa Bay sacks in his 200th consecutive start, the most by a cornerback in NFL history. Barber has 44 interceptions and 28 sacks, adding to his totals as the only player in history with at least 40 and 25.

Newton, who threw for 4,051 yards and accounted for 35 touchdowns - both rookie records - last season, was 23 of 33 passing for 303 yards and a touchdown Sunday.

Buccaneers rookie running back Doug Martin, the 31st overall pick, rushed for 95 yards on 24 carries in his NFL debut.

Tampa Bay scored on its first two possessions - a 6-yard touchdown pass from Freeman to Mike Williams and a 36-yard field goal by Connor Barth.

The Buccaneers took a 13-0 lead into halftime when Barth's 20-yard field goal with 2:55 remaining capped a 13-play, 90-yard drive which took 8:43 off the clock.

Carolina closed to within 13-7 on its opening possession of the second half after Newton found a wide-open Brandon LaFell over the middle for a 22-yard touchdown. The five-play, 70-yard drive included a 32-yard reception by Steve Smith.

A blocked punt by Aqib Talib set up Tampa Bay at the Carolina 42 with 11:10 remaining and the Buccaneers took a 16-7 lead on Barth's 40-yard field goal with 7:58 to go.

After Justin Medlock's 21-yard field goal made it a 16-10 game with 2:46 left, Tampa Bay recorded a first down and ran out the clock.

GAME NOTEBOOK: Freeman threw for 138 yards. ... Smith had seven catches for 106 yards. He has 706 career receptions and extended his team record with a reception in 76 straight games. ... The Panthers are 6-12 in openers, the worst Week 1 record in the NFL. ... Carolina won last season's meetings 38-19 and 48-16 in Weeks 13 and 16, respectively. ... WR Vincent Jackson had four catches for 47 yards in his Tampa Bay debut. ... The Panthers became the first team in NFL history to have three players rush for more than 700 yards in a season in 2011: DeAngelo Williams (836), Jonathan Stewart (761) and Newton (706). Newton and Williams combined for three yards on 11 carries Sunday and Stewart did not play because of a right ankle sprain. ... Tampa Bay won the time of possession battle 37:27-22:33. ... The game was delayed for a short time during halftime because of lightning in the area.

Top Game Performances

Rushing
Carolina   Tampa Bay
Kealoha Pilares Player Doug Martin
1 Attempts 24
5 Yards 95
5.0 Avg Yards 4.0
0 Touchdowns 0
5 Long 15
Receiving
Carolina   Tampa Bay
Steve Smith Player Vincent Jackson
7 Receptions 4
106 Yards 47
15.1 Avg Yards 11.8
0 Touchdowns 0
32 Long 21

Team Stats Summary

  Yards Scoring Defense
Team Tot Rus Pas TD FG INT Sacks FF
Carolina 301 10 291 1 1 0 2.0 0
Tampa Bay 258 130 128 1 3 2 3.0 1

Upcoming Games

  • Tampa Bay will play their next game on the road against N.Y. Giants. The Buccaneers have a W/L % of 1.000 after a win and 1.000 after a loss.
  • Carolina will play their next game at home against New Orleans. The Panthers have a W/L % of .000 after a win and .000 after a loss.