4:05 PM ET, September 30, 2007
Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, NC
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- As Carnell "Cadillac" Williams was being loaded onto a cart after injuring his right knee, every member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers came onto the field to give him encouragement.Then they used the same teamwork to make up for his absence, sending the surprising Bucs to the top of the NFC South.Calling it the closest team he's been on since Tampa Bay won the Super Bowl in the 2002 season, Michael Pittman had 90 of the Buccaneers' 189 yards rushing in Tampa Bay's dominating 20-7 win over the Carolina Panthers on Sunday.
This game was won in the first half with Tampa Bay taking advantage of great field position thanks to its defense forcing Carolina to punt every time it had the ball. This swarming defense made life miserable for QB David Carr & Co., allowing only a late TD. The Bucs pressured Carr all day -- collecting three sacks and countless other hits -- and performed well in the secondary, shutting down explosive WR Steve Smith (five catches and just 32 yards). Armed with a short field, QB Jeff Garcia directed this offense with confidence and efficiency. Offensive coordinator Bill Muir used a good mix of run and pass, which allowed Garcia to move the chains easily. He showed poise in the pocket and great timing with his receiving corps.
-- Ken Moll, Scouts Inc.
• Complete Week 4 Scouts Buzz
Former Panther Jovan Haye, Greg Peterson and Patrick Chukwurah had the sacks for the Buccaneers. ... Ike Hilliard had seven catches for 114 yards. ... Panthers KR Nick Goings suffered a concussion in the second half and did not return. ... Panthers rookie WR Dwayne Jarrett had one catch for six yards in his first action of the season.
Team Stat Comparison
3rd down efficiency
4th down efficiency
|Yards per play||5.4||3.5|
Yards per pass
Yards per rush
|TD||08:43||Jeff Garcia 3 Yd Run (Matt Bryant Kick)||7||0|
|TD||00:48||Earnest Graham 1 Yd Run (Matt Bryant Kick)||14||0|
|FG||06:41||Matt Bryant 25 Yd||17||0|
|FG||10:21||Matt Bryant 38 Yd||20||0|
|TD||00:23||Deangelo Williams 24 Yd Pass From David Carr (John Kasay Kick)||20||7|