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Panthers run past Buccaneers into division lead

Dec 9, 2008 - 6:16 AM CHARLOTTE, North Carolina (Ticker) -- The Carolina Panthers' two-headed rushing attack carried the team into the division lead on Monday.

DeAngelo Williams rushed for a career-high 186 yards and two touchdowns and rookie Jonathan Stewart ran for 115 and a pair of scores as the Panthers gained control of the NFC South with a 38-23 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Williams recorded his sixth 100-yard rushing game on 19 carries, while Stewart needed 14 to top the 100-yard plateau for the second time this season.

"I think the offensive line did a great job of defining holes today," Williams said. "It's one of our staples to run up the middle, but we have the ability to take the ball outside. In this offensive system, in the zone running scheme, you can take any hole you choose."

Overall, the Panthers rushed for a franchise-record 299 yards on the ground - 215 coming in the second half.

"I thought our blocking element and our runners were outstanding tonight was excellent, that was obvious," Panthers coach John Fox said. "I thought our passing game came through early on when we needed to loosen up some."

Steve Smith had nine catches for 117 yards and a score for the Panthers (10-3), who lead the division by one game over the Buccaneers (9-4) and by two over the Atlanta Falcons (8-5) with three contests remaining.

Carolina is also one game behind the New York Giants (11-2) for the best record in the NFC.

The Panthers' rushing attack was the difference in the fourth quarter as Stewart's 4-yard score gave Carolina a 24-17 lead with 13:27 left.

Stewart said Carolina's 27-3 loss to Tampa Bay in the first meeting on October 12 was used as motivation. The Buccaneers outgained the Panthers, 142-40, on the ground in that contest.

"They embarrassed us in the running game last game," the rookie said. "We came out here and made it a point to run the ball."

Williams ran around the left end from 16 yards out on Carolina's next possession to extend the lead to 31-17 with 8:38 left to play. The score capped a 90-yard drive, which only took four rushing plays to complete.

"They did a nice job," Buccaneers coach Jon Gruden said of the Panthers' running backs. "I think they came in with an excellent plan, they did a nice job cracking our support a few times and got in some one-on-one situations. Those guys are that good, those guys are going to make guys miss."

After the Buccaneers cut the deficit to 31-23 late in the contest, Williams received a pitch to the right on 3rd-and-4 and broke a couple of tackles on his 36-yard touchdown run, sealing Carolina's victory with 2:07 remaining.

Tampa Bay had allowed just one rushing touchdown all season coming into the game.

"It's very simple, we didn't do a great job of gang tackling and tackling the running backs," Buccaneers linebacker Derrick Brooks said. "When three guys miss a tackle and someone is out of the gap, you're going to get hit with big plays. We're not making any excuses about it, we got hit in the mouth today."

Stewart's 2-yard touchdown gave Carolina a 10-3 lead with 1:59 left in the second quarter before both teams traded scores in the second half.

Antonio Bryant, who became the second Buccaneers receiver to have 200 yards in a game, hauled in a 50-yard touchdown with 11:34 left in the third to tie the game at 10-10.

Smith put the Panthers back on top with a 38-yard touchdown catch, but Carnell Williams' 4-yard touchdown run tied the score again at 17-17 with 3:37 remaining in the third.

Jeff Garcia completed 24-of-38 passes for 321 yards and two touchdowns to Bryant, who had nine catches for 200 yards to lead Tampa Bay.

"Never seen a guy play like that," Gruden said of Bryant. "He was dominant tonight. Great catches, I'm happy for him. Unfortunately, it went down as a loss."






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    Buccaneers 23, Panthers 38  FinalDec 9 1:23 AM


  • NFL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    TAMPA BAY 0 3 14 6 23
    CAROLINA 3 7 7 21 38 FINAL
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: CAR - FG, JOHN KASAY 33 YD, 6:10. Drive: 8
    plays, 30 yards in 4:14. Key plays:
    M Jones 12-yard punt return to
    Tampa Bay 46; Delhomme 12-yard pass
    to Muhammad on 3rd-and-6 to Tampa
    Bay 30; Del

    Dec 8 11:43 PM


  • NFL
    TD CAR
    DEANGELO WILLIAMS 36 YD RUN
    (JOHN KASAY KICK)
    TAMPA BAY 23
    CAROLINA 38 2:07 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Buccaneers 23, Panthers 38  4th - 2:07Dec 8 11:32 PM
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    Buccaneers 23, Panthers 38  4th - 2:07Dec 8 11:32 PM


  • NFL
    TD TAM
    ANTONIO BRYANT 15 YD PASS FROM JEFF GARCIA
    (PAT BLOCKED)
    TAMPA BAY 23
    CAROLINA 31 2:29 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Buccaneers 23, Panthers 31  4th - 2:29Dec 8 11:27 PM
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    RUWTbot Added 66 roots (Close Finish)

    Buccaneers 23, Panthers 31  4th - 2:29Dec 8 11:27 PM


  • NFL
    TD CAR
    DEANGELO WILLIAMS 16 YD RUN
    (JOHN KASAY KICK)
    TAMPA BAY 17
    CAROLINA 31 8:30 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Buccaneers 17, Panthers 31  4th - 8:30Dec 8 11:06 PM


  • NFL
    TD CAR
    JONATHAN STEWART 4 YD RUN
    (JOHN KASAY KICK)
    TAMPA BAY 17
    CAROLINA 24 13:21 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Buccaneers 17, Panthers 24  4th - 13:21Dec 8 10:53 PM


  • NFL
    END, 3RD QTR 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    TAMPA BAY 0 3 14 17
    CAROLINA 3 7 7 17 END, 3RD QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: CAR - FG, JOHN KASAY 33 YD, 6:10. Drive: 8
    plays, 30 yards in 4:14. Key plays:
    M Jones 12-yard punt return to
    Tampa Bay 46; Delhomme 12-yard pass
    to Muhammad on 3rd-and-6 to Tampa
    Bay

    Dec 8 10:51 PM
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    thefanblog Added 5 roots

    Buccaneers 17, Panthers 17  3rd - 1:50Dec 8 10:46 PM


  • NFL
    TD TAM
    CARNELL WILLIAMS 4 YD RUN
    (MATT BRYANT KICK)
    TAMPA BAY 17
    CAROLINA 17 3:37 LEFT, 3RD QTR

    Buccaneers 17, Panthers 17  3rd - 3:37Dec 8 10:40 PM


  • NFL
    TD CAR
    STEVE SMITH 38 YD PASS FROM JAKE DELHOMME
    (JOHN KASAY KICK)
    TAMPA BAY 10
    CAROLINA 17 8:19 LEFT, 3RD QTR

    Buccaneers 10, Panthers 17  3rd - 8:19Dec 8 10:27 PM
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    Buccaneers 10, Panthers 10  3rd - 11:17Dec 8 10:23 PM


  • NFL
    TD TAM
    ANTONIO BRYANT 50 YD PASS FROM JEFF GARCIA
    (MATT BRYANT KICK)
    TAMPA BAY 10
    CAROLINA 10 11:23 LEFT, 3RD QTR

    Buccaneers 10, Panthers 10  3rd - 11:23Dec 8 10:20 PM


  • NFL
    HALFTIME 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    TAMPA BAY 0 3 3
    CAROLINA 3 7 10 HALFTIME
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: CAR - FG, JOHN KASAY 33 YD, 6:10. Drive: 8
    plays, 30 yards in 4:14. Key plays:
    M Jones 12-yard punt return to
    Tampa Bay 46; Delhomme 12-yard pass
    to Muhammad on 3rd-and-6 to Tampa
    Bay 30;

    Dec 8 10:11 PM


  • NFL
    HALFTIME 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    TAMPA BAY 0 3 3
    CAROLINA 3 7 10 HALFTIME
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: CAR - FG, JOHN KASAY 33 YD, 6:10. Drive: 8
    plays, 30 yards in 4:14. Key plays:
    M Jones 12-yard punt return to
    Tampa Bay 46; Delhomme 12-yard pass
    to Muhammad on 3rd-and-6 to Tampa
    Bay 30;

    Dec 8 9:56 PM


  • NFL
    TD CAR
    JONATHAN STEWART 2 YD RUN
    (JOHN KASAY KICK)
    TAMPA BAY 3
    CAROLINA 10 1:56 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Buccaneers 3, Panthers 10  2nd - 1:56Dec 8 9:49 PM


  • NFL
    FG TAM
    ANTONIO BRYANT 30 YD
    TAMPA BAY 3
    CAROLINA 3 6:35 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Buccaneers 3, Panthers 3  2nd - 6:35Dec 8 9:41 PM


  • NFL
    END, 1ST QTR 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    TAMPA BAY 0 0
    CAROLINA 3 3 END, 1ST QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: CAR - FG, JOHN KASAY 33 YD, 6:10. Drive: 8
    plays, 30 yards in 4:14. Key plays:
    M Jones 12-yard punt return to
    Tampa Bay 46; Delhomme 12-yard pass
    to Muhammad on 3rd-and-6 to Tampa
    Bay

    Dec 8 9:09 PM


  • NFL
    FG CAR
    JOHN KASAY 33 YD
    TAMPA BAY 0
    CAROLINA 3 8:50 LEFT, 1ST QTR

    Buccaneers 0, Panthers 3  1st - 8:50Dec 8 8:49 PM
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