The Panthers have had an annoying tendency to play down to competition for much of the Ron Rivera era.
It appears they’re putting that reputation to rest, at least for a night.
The Panthers are off to a 14-3 lead over the winless Buccaneers after a pair of long touchdown drives.
DeAngelo Williams just ran in from 12 yards out to cap a six-play, 80-yard drive. And that one looked like a hurry-up offense compared to the 15-play, 70-yard drive which preceded it. Cam Newton hit Greg Olsen for a touchdown to end that one.
Newton’s a clean 9-of-10 for 98 yards passing, and is showing a well-rounded game so far, running for third down conversions and also showing strength and poise in the pocket.