The Carolina Panthers are going into the locker room at halftime with a 14-10 lead over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The defense on both sides of the ball have been the big story of the day. Combined, the two offense have just 311 yards while 14 of the game’s 24 points have come off of turnovers.
Buccaneer QB Josh Freeman has hit on 11 of his 20 passes. He has 87 yards passing, one touchdown and one interception. The pick was his first in 161 consecutive attempts.
He connected with TE Nate Bynum on the three-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter. Vincent Jackson is the leading receiver with two catches for 27 yards. RBs D.J. Ware and Doug Martin both have three receptions, Ware has 23 yards and Martin with 17. Martin is also the leader in the run game with eight carries good for 39 yards, his longest going for 20. It is the longest play of the day for the Bucs, who lead the league in plays of more than 40 yards.
The touchdown was set up by a Carolina fumble on a punt return. Dekota Watson jumped on the Captain Munnerlyn fumble. LB Lavonte David once again leads the team in tackles with seven. DaQuan Bowers has registered one sack so far in the game.
For the Panthers, Cam Newton has 113 yards, completing 5 of his 17 passes. Newton’s biggest impact in the game has come on the ground where he has six carries for 33 yards, a 5.5 average. RB Jonathan Stewart has 41 yards on eight carries and a score. As a team, the Panthers have 85 yards rushing through the first half, after gaining just 10 yards on the ground in the first meeting between these two teams.
TE Greg Olsen’s one reception went for 32 yards, which leads the team. Steve Smith has hauled in two passes for 27 yards. His touchdown pass was nullified by an offensive pass interference call.
It was CB Captain Munnerlyn who intercepted Josh Freeman. He returned that pick 74 yards for a score. LBs Thomas Davis and Luke Kuechly have both registered six tackles. The team has put a lot of pressure on Josh Freeman throughout the day. There are five passes defended, five QB hits and one sack, split between DT Andre Neblett and DE Greg Hardy.
The Buccaneers will start the second half with the ball, trailing 14-10.