November 18, 2012
Panthers 14, Bucs 10, halftime
The Panthers dug themselves out of an early hole against Tampa Bay Sunday at Bank of America Stadium, grinding out a 14-10 halftime lead against the Bucs.
It was a bleak start for the Panthers in front of a less than full stadium.
Captain Munnerlyn lost a fumble on a punt return early in the first quarter, giving the ball to the Bucs at the Carolina 29-yard line. Munnerlyn would soon atone for his mistake.
However, the Bucs capitalized on the mistake, turning it into a three-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Josh Freeman to tight end Nate Byham for a 7-0 lead.
On the same week the Panthers fired special teams coach Brian Murphy, special teams problems continued. On the kickoff following the Tampa Bay touchdown, Carolina's Jordan Seen was penalized, forcing the Panthers to start from their own 16-yard line.
After a Connor Barth field goal gave the Bucs a 10-0 lead, the Panthers were wobbling. It got worse when starting defensive ends Charles Johnson and Greg Hardy collided. Hardy would eventually return to the game but Johnson was taken to the locker room and did not return.
The game flipped when Freeman hurried a pass and Captain Munnerlyn intercepted it, returning it 74 yards for a touchdown, his second pick-six this season. Tampa Bay's Ted Larsen was also penalized 15-yards for an unsportsmanlike hit on Panthers defensive lineman Dwan Edwards.
Suddenly recharged, the Panthers forced a Tampa Bay punt then took a 14-13 lead on an eight-play, 77-yard drive. The march included a 30-yard screen pass to Jonathan Stewart, a 17-yard Steve Smith reception and a pass interference penalty in the end zone that set up Stewart's 1-yard touchdown.
The Panthers had a chance to extend their lead late in the half but Justin Medlock missed a 40-yard field goal attempt, his third straight miss.
Posted by Observer Sports on November 18, 2012 at 02:44 PM | Permalink
We won the first half......that's progress.....
Posted by: Panther fan | Nov 18, 2012 2:53:23 PM
I wish our o-line would play like they played last year.
Posted by: Ryan | Nov 18, 2012 3:29:43 PM
who got this kicker, who has mind issues in chicago cannot kick 40 yarder.
Posted by: p2kfan | Nov 18, 2012 3:29:58 PM
Agreed. They can't use Ryan Kalil being hurt as an excuse. Because they we're playing terrible when he was in the starting line-up.
Posted by: Jack | Nov 18, 2012 3:33:44 PM
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