Final

Panthers 31

(4-3, 2-2 away)

Buccaneers 13

(0-7, 0-4 home)

Coverage: NFL

8:25 PM ET, October 24, 2013

Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, FL 

1 2 3 4 T
CAR 7 7 7 1031
TB 3 3 0 713

Top Performers

Passing: M. Glennon (TB) - 275 YDS, 1 TD

Rushing: C. Newton (CAR) - 11 CAR, 50 YDS, 1 TD

Receiving: T. Ginn (CAR) - 5 REC, 80 YDS

Cam Newton leads Panthers past winless Buccaneers

Associated Press

TAMPA, Fla. -- Cam Newton pranced into the end zone, placed his hands over his chest and did his familiar Superman pose. He's says the surging Carolina Panthers are hardly a one-man show, though.

An efficient Newton threw two touchdown passes and ran for another score Thursday night to pace a 31-13 victory over the winless Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The Panthers (4-3) won for the fourth time in five games following an 0-2 start and climbed over .500 for the first time in five years. They've won three straight, with Newton throwing for 667 yards, six TDs and no interceptions.

"It's the culmination of a lot of things," said Newton, who also has two rushing touchdowns in the past three weeks.

"When you've got an offensive line that's protecting the way they protect, when you've got a running back that's running, you've got receivers making plays after the catch, it's really not hard," Newton added. "It's just up to me to make the right decision and get the ball into people's hands that it needs to be."

The Bucs (0-7), one of two NFL teams yet to win, have dropped the first seven games in a season for the seventh time in franchise history. They've lost 12 of 13 dating to last year, and some fans showed up at Raymond James Stadium carrying signs and wearing paper bags over their heads urging that second-year coach Greg Schiano be fired.

"We got licked," Schiano said, adding that calls for his dismissal haven't become a distraction for him or his players.

"It doesn't affect me. `People are certainly entitled to their opinion. ... You sit there and cry about it, but that's not going to help."

Newton tossed a 1-yard TD pass to Greg Olsen in the first quarter and added a 3-yarder to Mike Tolbert on the first play of the fourth quarter for a 28-6 lead. Newton had his way against the Bucs in between those scores, too, setting up a nifty 12-yard TD run by DeAngelo Williams and getting into the end zone himself with a 6-yard run midway through the third quarter.

The third-year quarterback completed 23 of 32 passes for 221 yards. He also rushed for a team-high 50 yards on 11 attempts.

"I just feel as if my production is off a lot of other people's production," Newton said. "If you want to solely say I'm playing great, it also means that a lot of other guys are playing great behind the scenes. This is not a one-man show. I understand that, and I will not have that type of attitude."

Rookie Mike Glennon threw for 275 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions in his fourth start for Tampa Bay, which trailed 31-6 before finally getting into the end zone on Tim Wright's 10-yard reception with just under 3 minutes remaining.

The victory lifted Carolina over .500 for the first time since 2008, when the Panthers finished 12-4.

"It's a relief ... but being .500 is just a small percentage of it," Newton said. "We've just got to continue to keep meshing as a team, keep building and keep getting momentum in these upcoming weeks because we're about to hit the meat of our schedule, and we're going to need every ounce of every energy that we will have."

Newton completed 81.4 percent of his passes for 446 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions over the previous two games -- lopsided victories over Minnesota and St. Louis. He set the tone for another efficient performance, going 7 of 8 for 57 yards on Carolina's opening drive and finishing the nearly 9-minute, 15-play, 70-yard march with his TD pass to Olsen.

The Panthers overcame second-and-22 following a 12-yard sack, with Newton throwing 10 yards to Steve Smith on second down and scrambling for 16 yards on third-and-12. On the TD pass, Newton stiff-armed defensive end Daniel Te'o-Nesheim to buy time before finding Olsen wide open in the left side of the end zone.

Carolina went 80 yards in six plays on its next possession, with Newton setting up Williams' 12-yard TD run with a 35-yard completion to Ted Ginn Jr. Three minutes later, the Panthers nearly struck again, with Newton throwing deep to Ginn, who had a couple of steps on cornerback Leonard Johnson but let the ball go straight through his hands.

Glennon completed 30 of a career-high 51 passes. He has thrown 181 times this season, a record for a quarterback in the first four games of a career.

Tampa Bay played without injured running back Doug Martin and safety Dashon Goldson. Martin is out indefinitely with a shoulder injury, and Goldson, one of the leaders of a defense that's allowed 31 points in each of the past three games, sat out because of a sore knee.

NOTES: The Bucs are 3-9 at home under Schiano and have lost seven straight at Raymond James Stadium dating to last season. That's their longest home skid since 1977, when they won their season finale against St. Louis to stop a 13-game streak. ... Williams' touchdown was his first of the season. He ran through the grasp of S Keith Tandy, then made CB Darrelle Revis miss on his way to the end zone. ... Carolina's defense had not allowed any first-quarter points until Rian Lindell's 47-yard field goal got Tampa Bay on the board. The offense gave up a safety last week when Tolbert was tackled in the end zone.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Team Stat Comparison

 
CAR
TB
1st Downs2119
Passing 1st downs
1113
Rushing 1st downs
93
1st downs from penalties
13
3rd down efficiency
5-124-14
4th down efficiency
1-10-2
Total Plays6268
Total Yards324297
Yards per play5.24.4
Total Drives1011
Passing195249
Comp-Att
23-3230-51
Yards per pass
5.64.6
Interceptions thrown
00
Sacks-Yards Lost
3-263-26
Rushing12948
Rushing Attempts
2714
Yards per rush
4.83.4
Red Zone (Made-Att)4-51-2
Penalties6-593-21
Turnovers01
Fumbles lost
01
Interceptions thrown
00
Defensive / Special Teams TDs00
Possession34:3325:27

Passing Leaders

CARC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Newton23/322216.9203-26
TBC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Glennon30/512755.4103-26

Rushing Leaders

CARCARYDSAVGTDLG
Newton11504.5119
Williams8435.4112
TBCARYDSAVGTDLG
James10393.9015
Leonard177.007

Receiving Leaders

CARRECYDSAVGTDLG
Ginn58016.0035
Smith44210.5021
TBRECYDSAVGTDLG
Jackson57915.8029
Wright5489.6115

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERCARTB
carTD4:52Greg Olsen 1 Yard Pass From Cam Newton (Graham Gano Kick is Good)
Drive info: 15 plays, 70 yds, 8:52
70
tbFG1:29Rian Lindell 47 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 8 plays, 51 yds, 3:20
73
SECOND QUARTERCARTB
carTD12:50Deangelo Williams 12 Yard Run (Graham Gano Kick is Good)
Drive info: 6 plays, 80 yds, 3:42
143
tbFG4:09Rian Lindell 48 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 10 plays, 43 yds, 4:49
146
THIRD QUARTERCARTB
carTD6:34Cam Newton 6 Yard Run (Graham Gano Kick is Good)
Drive info: 9 plays, 53 yds, 4:36
216
FOURTH QUARTERCARTB
carTD15:00Mike Tolbert 3 Yard Pass From Cam Newton (Graham Gano Kick is Good)
Drive info: 4 plays, 29 yds, 2:01
286
carFG6:19Graham Gano 29 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 4 plays, 5 yds, 1:37
316
tbTD3:00Tim Wright 10 Yard Pass From Mike Glennon (Rian Lindell Kick is Good)
Drive info: 11 plays, 81 yds, 3:21
3113

Research Notes

Newton was 20-for-24 on passes that traveled 10 yards or fewer downfield for 171 yards and two touchdowns on Thursday. During the Panthers' three-game winning streak, 55 of Newton's 75 attempts traveled 10 yards or fewer.
  [+]
Vincent Jackson was targeted on five of Mike Glennon's 21 attempts in the first three quarters on Thursday. Glennon finally started to target Jackson in the fourth quarter with the Bucs trailing by multiple possessions. - Entering Thursday, Jackson was targeted 15.7 times per game in Glennon's three career starts, including 10.7 times per game in the first three quarters. Jackson had 22 targets last Sunday against the Falcons.
  [+]
The Panthers haven't been above .500 since 2009, going 70 straight games without a winning record. A big reason for that is their inability to beat the teams they SHOULD beat. According to Elias Sports Bureau, the Panthers are 15-12 against teams that entered the game with a losing record. If the Panthers lose tonight vs the Buccaneers (0-6), the Panthers will have a .536 win pct against teams that entered the game with a losing record since 2009, winning just 15 of their 28 matchups.

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