Final score: Buccaneers 27, Panthers 21 (OT)
Panthers 21, Buccaneers 21
Scoring play: A 24-yard touchdown reception from Josh Freeman to Vincent Jackson.
Drive: 7 plays, 80 yards, :50.
Key play: From the Bucs 20, Freeman found Tiquan Underwood for an 18-yard reception. Thomas Davis was called for a penalty when he hit a defenseless receiver in the head. The play gave Tampa Bay the ball on the Carolina 47.
Time of game: :12 in the fourth quarter.
Worth mentioning: This is the Panthers first overtime game since Dec. 21, 2008. Carolina is 5-9 in overtimes in the franchise history.
Panthers 21, Buccaneers 13
Scoring play: A 40-yard field goal by Connor Barth.
Drive: 10 plays, 58 yards, 1:57
Key play: A 22-yard reception by Vincent Jackson on first down from the Carolina 33. The play got the Bucs in Panther territory.
Time of game: 4:03 in the fourth quarter.
Worth mentioning: The Panthers will try to drain clock by running the ball. The Bucs have two timesouts remaining along with the two-minute warning.
Panthers 21, Buccaneers 10
Scoring play: A 29-yard touchdown pass from Cam Newton to Brandon LaFell.
Drive: 7 plays, 80 yards, 4:34
Key play: A 17-yard reception by Steve Smith. The veteran wide receiver had three catches for 33 yards before making a crucial third-down grab on a quick slant that extended the Panthers drive.
Time of game: 6:00 in the fourth quarter.
Worth mentioning: This is the 18th time the Panthers have entered the fourth quarter leading or tied under Ron Rivera. Carolina is 8-9 in those games.
Halftime: Panthers 14, Bucs 10,/b>
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.
--Ron Green Jr.
Panthers 14, Buccaneers 10
Scoring play: A 1-yard touchdown rush by Jonathan Stewart.
Drive: 8 plays, 77 yards, 4:09.
Key play: A pass interference call in the end zone on Bucs safety Mark Barron. Cam Newton looked for Greg Olsen in the corner of the end zone but Barron got to Olsen early. The PI call took Carolina from 3-and-10 from the 11 to 1-and-goal from the 1.
Time of game: 8:53 in the first quarter.
Worth mentioning: The Panthers put together a strong drive, but the offensive line continues to struggle. Garry Williams has replaced Jeff Byers at right guard, and rookie left guard Amini Silatolu has been getting beaten on nearly every other play.
Buccaneers 10, Panthers 7
Scoring play: A 74-yard interception return for a touchdown by Captain Munnerlyn.
Key play: Josh Freeman threw a floater intended for Dallas Clark as Frank Alexander and Dwan Edwards pressured him. Munnerlyn picked it off for his second interception returned for a touchdown this season.
Time of game: :35 in the first quarter.
Worth mentioning: Top defensive ends Charles Johnson and Greg Hardy went out of the game midway through that Bucs drive. Johnson appeared to have hit Hardy's knee with his head. The two stayed on the ground for several minutes before being helped off the field. Hardy was back on the efield the next drive but Johnson went into the locker room.
Buccaneers 10, Panthers 0
Scoring play: A 51-yard field goal by Connor Barth.
Drive: 5 plays, 19 yards, 2:19.
Key play: A 19-yard pass from Josh Freeman to Vincent Jackson. The throw got the Bucs into field-goal territory where the drive would stall with a few key Panther stops.
Time of game: 5:21 in the first quarter.
Worth mentioning: In the team's first game without special teams coordinator Brian Murphy, the unit hasn't been all that special. A Munnerlyn fumble, a hold on a kickoff and a 35-yard punt by Brad Nortman are some of the lowlights from special teams early.
Buccaneers 7, Panthers 0
Scoring play: A 3-yard touchdown pass from Josh Freeman to Nate Byham.
Drive: 6 plays, 29 yards, 3:33.
Key play: Captain Munnerlyn returned his first punt of the game for about 20 yards, but the ball started coming loose just before Jacob Cutrera popped him. The Bucs recovered at the Carolina 29.
Time of game: 8:46 in the first quarter.
Worth mentioning: Thomas Davis was called for a personal foul when he hit Freeman in he head while the quarterback was sliding. With more quarterbacks around the league being taken out with concussions, it's possible Davis will hear from the league.
Wide receiver David Gettis and newly acquired guard Jeremy Bridges are both inactive for Sunday's game against Tampa Bay.
Both Joe Adams and Armanti Edwards are active for the game. Wide receiver/kick returner Adams is active for the first time since Week Three when he fumbled a kickoff and muffed a punt against the Giants.
Edwards strained his groin in practice Wednesday and was questionable for the game. There is no word on who will start as the kick and punt returners, but Edwards returned kicks last week and Captain Munnerlyn has a league low 4.8 yards per punt return.
Gettis played 12 snaps last week in his first game back from being on the physically unable to perform list. He participated fully in practice this week.
Bridges first practiced with the team on Wednesday, but he had spent the entire season on injured reserve and head coach Ron Rivera voiced concerns about Bridges' conditioning. He was competing with Jeff Byers at the right guard position, but Rivera said Friday that the line would remain as it has been for the previous three weeks.
The other inactives are QB Jimmy Clausen, S D.J. Campbell, LB Jason Williams, T Bruce Campbell and DE Antawn Applewhite.