So much for the positive vibes and the 3-game winning streak. The Buccaneers came crashing back to reality on Sunday in Carolina as they were dominated by the Panthers 27-6. The Bucs drop to 3-9 on the season while the Panthers won their 8th straight to improve to 9-3. The Bucs had an impressive drive to begin the game. They went 59 yards on 8 plays that resulted in a 26-yard field goal by Rian Lindell to make it 3-0. Mike Glennon connected with Tiquan Underwood twice on the drive for 39 yards to set up the field goal. Glennon was 4 for 4 for 36 yards on the drive.
Panthers would respond on their next drive. Cam Newton ripped off a 56 yard run down to the Bucs 15 yard line. Two plays later, Newton found a wide open Brandon LaFell for a 16-yard touchdown pass to give the Panthers a 7-3 lead. On their next possession, Newton was picked off by Keith Tandy as the pass went off the hands of LaFell. Lindell booted a 53-yard FG to make it a 7-6 game late in the first quarter.
The Bucs had a good drive going early in the second quarter. Glennon found Vincent Jackson on a pretty 60 yard bomb down to the Carolina 4. But on 3rd and goal, Glennon fumbles the ball away and it was recovered by Dwan Edwards. The Panthers put forth an impressive drive down the field but the Bucs defense held strong inside the 10. Panthers settled for a 28-yard field goal by Graham Gano to make it 10-6 Carolina. Before the half, Newton went over the top for a 1-yard touchdown run to make it 17-6 Carolina at the half.
The Bucs got the ball to begin the second half and after a couple of impressive runs by Bobby Rainey, Glennon turned it over again. He was picked off by Mike Mitchell on a poorly thrown deep ball to Jackson. The Panthers quickly marched down the field and cashed in on the turnover. Newton found Ginn on a 36-yard touchdown to make it 24-6 Carolina. Bucs had a nice drive going but failed to get point on the board after Lindell missed a 48-yard field goal. To make matters worse, the Bucs lost cornerback Darrelle Revis in the 3rd quarter to a chest/shoulder injury.
The Panthers wore down the Bucs defense in the fourth quarter. Carolina went on a drive lasting 8 minutes and 42 seconds. It culminated in a 23-yard field goal by Gano to make it 27-6 Carolina. Glennon was sacked 5 times on the day by Carolina and the Bucs turned it over twice. Panthers scored 10 points off those Tampa Bay turnovers. The Panthers rolled up 426 yards of total offense.