Cam Newton went 13-for-18 passing for 149 yards in the first half, adding 24 yards on the ground to help give the Carolina Panthers a 14-6 lead at halftime on Thursday night. The Buccaneers have been able to move the ball at times, but miscues near the red zone have forced Tampa Bay to settle for field goals and take a deficit at intermission.
Cam Newton got the Panthers out to a 7-0 lead with an impressive opening drive. Newton went 7-for-8 passing for 57 yards and had three carries for 23 yards to lead the Panthers down the field. He capped the drive with a one-yard pass to a wide open Greg Olsen in the left side of the end zone.
After going three-and-out to open the game the Buccaneers were able to sustain a solid drive to the Panthers' 29-yard line. The drive stalled, but not before Mike Glennon made several nice throws to set up a Rian Lindell field goal. Glennon misfired on two passes that would have given the Bucs a new set of downs before finally ceding the field to Lindell.
Tampa Bay struggled to contain the Panthers' offense after kicking the ball off to the Panthers. Ted Ginn turned a short pass into a 35-yard gain with a burst of speed up the right sideline, setting up a nifty 12-yard DeAngelo Williams touchdown run around the left end of the offensive line for his first touchdown run of the season.
After both teams traded punts, the Bucs put together another strong drive, this time courtesy of their running game. Mike James ran well in place of the injured Doug Martin, and helped move Tampa Bay to the Carolina 26-yard line. The drive stalled after a fumbled snap, Glennon's second of the game, and the Buccaneers had to settle for a field goal once again, making the score 14-6.
The Buccaneers' defense clamped down on the Panthers' final drive of the half sacking Cam Newton on 2nd down in Bucs territory to force a sailed pass on 3rd down and a punt.