CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Christian McCaffrey ran for two touchdowns and Curtis Samuel scored twice as the Panthers beat Tampa Bay 42-28 Sunday at Bank of America Stadium.

  • The Panthers have won 10 games in a row at home
  • Carolina scored on five straight possessions
  • Panthers play Steelers Thursday

Carolina (6-2) scored on five straight possessions and safety Eric Reid sparked the offensive first half onslaught when he picked off Bucs quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick in the first quarter. That led to an Alex Armah touchdown to go up 7-0.  McCaffrey scored the first of his two touchdowns on the Panthers next drive.  

After Tampa Bay (3-5) scored to make it 14-7, the Panthers scored three more times: McCaffrey's second touchdown followed by an improbable 33-yard score by Samuel on a double reverse and then Olsen finished things off with a 17-yard touchdown catch. 

"Well, you know when it’s clicking it’s clicking," said Panthers quarterback Cam Newton. “As the talent level on the team, it’s extremely scary that we possess a lot of different good matchups in our favor.”

"We have so many playmakers. I mean, you saw what Curtis [Samuel] did today, what DJ [Moore] did today, what Greg [Olsen] did today. We've got playmakers all over the field," McCaffrey said. He finished with 157 total yards.


“It was an amazing play call by Coach," said Samuel of his first touchdown. “I came around DJ [Moore] gave me the reverse coming around and saw the whole sideline was open, but as I took off and started to get closer, I felt like the defense was closing down and I didn’t feel like tip toeing the sideline. So, I was like let me go make something happen across field and do what I do and I was able to get in the end zone.”

The Buccaneers got within a touchdown thanks to two Adam Humphries scores: one in the third and one in the fourth quarter.  But the Panthers responded with a 19-yard strike from Newton (19-25, 247 yards, 2 TDs) to Samuel to give Carolina some breathing room to hold on for the win.

"We didn’t play to our abilities at a certain stretch, but you have to give them credit," said Panthers Head Coach Ron Rivera.  "Our biggest thing was we had a couple guys make a couple mental errors."



We finished strong as far as the first half is concerned, but we have to be better in the third quarter. Knowing that we have to have better habits moving forward. We know that coach mentioned it,” Newton said when asked about the second half.

Panthers have a short week as they play Thursday at Pittsburgh.




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