B QUARTERBACK: Cam Newton battled through a leg injury for a solid showing. Newton completed 16 of 29 passes for 252 yards and a touchdown, and ran for 40 yards. He never got a chance in overtime.
C- RUNNING BACKS: After tying a franchise low with 10 yards in the first game against Tampa Bay, the Panthers ran for 97 yards. But they averaged only 2.9 yards per carry and the running backs did not have a carry longer than 11 yards.
C RECEIVERS: Brandon LaFell had a big game with five catches for 93 yards and a touchdown. Steve Smith and Louis Murphy, who had an early drop, both had catches in the fourth quarter that produced first downs.
C- OFFENSIVE LINE: After giving up seven sacks last week against Denver, the line was slightly better. Newton was sacked twice, although he was hit several other times. When the Panthers tried to salt the game away on the ground, there was no running room.
C DEFENSIVE LINE: The Panthers, who have generated consistent pressure in recent weeks, sacked Josh Freeman only once. Charles Johnson missed time with a head injury before returning. The line looked worn down on Tampa Bay's overtime drive.
C- LINEBACKERS: Thomas Davis had a season-high 16 tackles. But on the Bucs' game-tying and game-winning drives, each of the starting linebackers were beaten for big plays and/or touchdowns.
C DEFENSIVE BACKS: The secondary came up small with the game on the line. Strong safety Charles Godfrey was late providing help on Vincent Jackson's touchdown catch, and free safety Sherrod Martin was beaten on Jackson's ensuing two-point conversion. Captain Munnerlyn's touchdown on an interception was the third of his career.
F SPECIAL TEAMS: Other than Joe Adams' punt returns, not much changed under new special teams coach Richard Rodgers, who called a head-scratching fake punt. Munnerlyn fumbled a punt, Justin Medlock missed his third consecutive field goal and Brad Nortman gave Bucs good field position for their game-tying drive by blasting a punt into the end zone.
F COACHING: Losing an 11-point lead with six minutes left is inexcusable and likely sealed Ron Rivera's fate. The Panthers again played not to lose with three consecutive running plays to end their final offensive possession. Freeman said the Panthers' zone was too soft on his touchdown pass to Jackson.