for this game

Panthers look to complete sweep of Bucs

Nov 8, 2006 - 1:02 AM Tampa Bay (2-6) at Carolina (4-4) Monday 8:30 pm EST

CHARLOTTE, North Carolina (Ticker) -- The Carolina Panthers ended virtually any hope the Tampa Bay Buccaneers had of getting back into the playoff race in the first meeting between the teams.

Entering the second half of their schedule, the Panthers face the Buccaneers on Monday night in an NFC South matchup.

With each team having lost their first two games, the Panthers posted a critical 26-24 victory at Tampa Bay on September 24.

The loss for the Bucs came with a major price as quarterback Chris Simms had his spleen removed hours after the game. Sixth-round pick Bruce Gradkowski has taken over in place of Simms, who is out for the season.

With Gradkowski at the controls, the Bucs are 2-3. They already have surpassed their loss total from all of last season and are in last place in the division after winning it last season.

Carolina used the victory over Tampa Bay as the springboard to a four-game winning streak. However, the Panthers have lost their last two games.

The preseason favorite to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl, the Panthers are in third place in the South, a game behind Atlanta and two behind surprising New Orleans.

Coming off their bye, the Panthers will be looking to rebound from a 35-14 loss to Dallas here two weeks ago. Carolina was blanked over the final three quarters and committed three turnovers.

The Bucs were unable to recover from a slow start last week in a 31-14 loss to New Orleans. Gradkowski threw for 185 yards and two touchdowns for Tampa Bay, which went three-and-out on its first six possessions.

In the first meeting between the teams, John Kasay kicked four field goals, Jake Delhomme threw for 272 yards and a touchdown and Steve Smith and former Buc Keyshawn Johnson each had seven catches.

No one has shouted yet.
Be the first!