Carolina's offensive line completely mauled a Bucs defense that was without starting defensive tackles Albert Haynesworth and Brian Price. The Panthers piled up a season-high 270 yards rushing and scored three times on the ground, giving them 25 for the season — most in the league.
Just as they did on Dec. 4, the Panthers jumped all over the Bucs early.
Newton led the Panthers on a picture-perfect, 80-yard, nine-play touchdown drive to open the game, with Williams scoring on an 8-yard touchdown run.
The Panthers led 20-10 at halftime but put the hammer down in the third quarter as Williams ran for a 22-yard touchdown and Newton threw an 11-yard scoring pass to Stewart on fourth-and-1 to put Carolina up 34-10.
Then came the play of the game as Newton faked a handoff to Stewart and took off through a huge hole on the right side of the line. Newton juked a defender before shifting into another gear and blowing through the Tampa Bay secondary for the longest touchdown run ever by a Panthers quarterback.
He added a touchdown toss to Jeremy Shockey to close out the scoring.
Josh Freeman threw for 274 yards and accounted for both Tampa Bay touchdowns — one passing and one rushing.
NOTES: Jordan Pugh was slated to start at strong safety for the injured Charles Godfrey, but developed concussion-like symptoms prior to the game and didn't play. That forced the Panthers to start Jonathan Nelson, who was added to the roster from the practice squad. Nelson had the game's only interception. ... In two games against the Panthers, Blount was held to 30 yards rushing combined.
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