The Panthers did what they were supposed to do, and the Buccaneers did what they do.
The Panthers rolled to an easy 31-13 win, keeping the Buccaneers winless on the season. At 0-7, with losses in 12 of their last 13 games, the only sport left in Tampa seems to be predicting when Bucs coach Greg Schiano will get fired.
Raymond James Stadium began emptying out in the third quarter, and those that stayed seemed to be there only to boo. And there was plenty to choose from, as the Buccaneers had trouble executing shotgun snaps, catching passes, fielding punts or stopping the run.
The Panthers are now 4-3, the first time they’ve had a winning record since the end of the 2008 season. So they’re not feeling sorry for anyone right now.
They’ve won three straight, and are doing the things they should do against bad opponents. Sure, their four wins are against teams with a combined 5-22 record, but they’ve beaten those teams by 38, 25, 15 and now 18 points. They host the Falcons next week, and then face the 49ers and Patriots, which will provide a clearer picture of what they’re about.
Cam Newton hasn’t turned the ball over in three games, and the Panthers continued to play efficient offense, topping 30 points for the third straight week. Coupled with a defense that was already good, and they’re looking more and more like a legitimate playoff contender.