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Social media reacts to #Panthers 17, #Buccaneers 3

Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (1) celebrates a touchdown by running back Jonathan Stewart (28) against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the first quarter of an NFL football game Sunday, Oct. 29, 2017, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan Ebenhack)
Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (1) celebrates a touchdown by running back Jonathan Stewart (28) against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the first quarter of an NFL football game Sunday, Oct. 29, 2017, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan Ebenhack) AP

Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton didn’t play his best game in Sunday’s 17-3 win over Tampa Bay Sunday in Florida, but when the Panthers needed him most, Newton came up with big plays.

On a 2nd and 1 in the fourth quarter, Newton took off on a big option run to get inside the Tampa Bay 20. Then on third and 16, Newton lofted a pretty pass to Kelvin Benjamin for a touchdown pass that sealed the game. It also ended Carolina’s nasty two-game win streak.

First the plays.

Now the reaction, on Newton, the Panthers’ stellar defense and winning again.

Stewart’s big dive highlights early play

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Carolina Panthers running back Jonathan Stewart (28) sidesteps Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Vernon Hargreaves (28) and outside linebacker Lavonte David (54) during the first quarter of an NFL football game Sunday, Oct. 29, 2017, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan Ebenhack) Phelan Ebenhack AP

After not scoring a touchdown in a terrible offensive performance in Chicago last week, the Panthers went on a season-best 17-play drive in the first quarter against Tampa Bay and Jonathan Stewart went all Superman on a third down play from the 1.

Several fans commented how Stewart’s diving play was the first rushing touchdown by a Panthers running back all season -- in Carolina’s eighth game.

Was Panthers-Bucs Must-Bore TV?

For large swaths of the game, Panthers-Bucs wasn’t exactly must-see TV: full of flags, punts and not much scoring. Twitter noticed.

Peppers big moment, solid games

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Carolina Panthers defensive end Julius Peppers, left, helped the Panthers control Jameis Winston and the Bucs Sunday Jeff Siner TNS

Carolina’s defense was again quite good and Carolina defensive lineman Julius Peppers, at age 37, continues to prove age ain’t nothing but a number.

Peppers’ first half sack sent him further up the NFL all-time lists and earned him some well-deserved accolades on social media.

And if you needed a reminder of how great an athlete, Peppers really is, check him out from his UNC basketball days.

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