The Panthers won both meetings handily in 2013 on their way to the division championship, outscoring the Bucs 58-19 overall. The first game was a nationally-televised Thursday-night affair in Tampa, in which Newton threw for 221 yards and two touchdowns and also ran 11 times for 50 yards and another score. Rookie QB Mike Glennon completed 30 of 51 passes for 275 yards and a touchdown in that game, but the Bucs' offense couldn't get much going when it went to Charlotte for the rematch in early December. This time, Carolina's top-ranked defense sacked Glennon five times and picked him off once en route to an easy 27-6 decision.
Some of the most dramatic outcomes in the head-to-head Bucs-Panthers series have come from tight, low-scoring affairs. In 2002, during the Buccaneers' run to Super Bowl XXXVII, a Tampa Bay team playing without starting QB Brad Johnson found itself trailing, 9-3, in the fourth quarter. K Martin Gramatica finished off a four-for-four performance with three long field goals in the final period, the last one a 47-yard game-winner that backed up a defense that only allowed 130 total yards.
The very next season saw a Bucs-Panthers game end in a 12-9 final, but in a far less happy way for the Buccaneers. Coming off a dominant 17-0 win in Philadelphia in the 2003 season opener, the defending NFL champs stumbled in their home opener against Carolina, in part due to a single play that led to injuries to both Mike Alstott and Joe Jurevicius. Trailing 9-3, the Bucs' offense woke up just in time, with Johnson driving the team 82 yards in the last two minutes to set up a six-yard touchdown pass to Keenan McCardell as time expired. An extra point would have won it, but Carolina DT Kris Jenkins blocked the attempt, sending the game to overtime and giving the Panthers a chance to eventually win it on John Kasay's field goal.
In this year's first meeting, the Buccaneers rang up 411 yards of offense and 25 first downs to 244 and 17 for the visiting Panthers, but Carolina's defense intercepted Jameis Winston four times, with future Pro Bowl CB Josh Norma returning one of them 46 yards for a touchdown. Carolina also scored on a fluky play in which Bucs S Chris Conte forced a fumble by RB Jonathan Stewart but the loose ball flew directly into the hands of TE Ed Dickson, who ran it 57 yards for a touchdown. That turned a close game into a two-touchdown lead for Carolina, which rolled from there to a 37-23 decision.
Bucs' Game-by-Game Record vs. Panthers:
- Overall Season Series: Carolina leads, 19-11
- Bucs' Home Record: 5-10
- Bucs' Road Record: 6-9
- Current Streak: Lose 5 (2013-15)
- Buccaneers' Longest Winning Streak: 3 (1998-2002)
- Panthers' Longest Winning Streak: 5 (2003-05, 2013-15)
- Regular Season Point Total: Buccaneers 528, Panthers 657
- Most Points in a Game, Tampa Bay: Buccaneers 31-16 (2010)
- Most Points in a Game, Carolina: Panthers 48-16 (2011)
- Most Points, both teams: 64, Panthers 48-16 (2011)
- Fewest Points in a Game, Tampa Bay: Panthers 24-0 (1996)
- Fewest Points in a Game, Carolina: Buccaneers 27-3 (2008)
- Fewest Points in a Game, both teams: 21, twice: Buccaneers 12-9 (2002), Panthers 12-9 (2003)