Final/OT

Panthers 12

(2-0, 1-0 away)

Buccaneers 9

(1-1, 0-1 home)

4:05 PM ET, September 14, 2003

 

1 2 3 4 OT T
CAR 3 3 3 0 312
TB 0 0 3 6 09

Panthers block PAT to force OT

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -- With Tampa Bay lining up to kick an extra point with no time on the clock, the Carolina Panthers easily could have hung their heads and accepted defeat.

Allen's Analysis
Eric Allen
Question on the Panthers: How important was it for the Panthers to start the season with two close games?
It's very important for them to open up this season with two wins after last seasons' close losses. These types of victories will breed confidence in a young team.

Question on the Bucs: How is Gruden going to work around the Bucs' rushing woes this year?
Everyone talks about Jon's West Coast offense, but he's a firm believer in the running game. He has to find someone who can rush the ball consistently for this team. Right now, no one seems to consistently be able to move the ball and that's a big problem for this team.

Eric Allen played cornerback for 14 NFL seasons with the Eagles, Saints and Raiders.

The Buccaneers knew they wouldn't.

"It's never over. We fight to the end," Carolina defensive tackle Brentson Buckner said after Kris Jenkins blocked what would have been a game-winning conversion by Martin Gramatica. That set the stage for the Panthers to beat the Super Bowl champions 12-9 in overtime Sunday.

"We knew they had to go out and make the extra point. We blocked two kicks prior to that, so we thought: `Hey, we've got a chance. ... By the grace of God we blocked it."

John Kasay's fourth field goal, a 47-yarder with 3:28 remaining in the extra period, capped a wild final few minutes.

The Bucs had tied it with no time left in regulation on Keenan McCardell's 6-yard reception. Considering Gramatica never missed an extra point in his career (129 attempts), the conversion seemed a formality.

Jenkins had other ideas.

"I went in and blocked it. I don't think it was rocket science or anything," said Jenkins, who also knocked down a 38-yard field goal try in the second quarter. "It was now or never. We didn't have a choice. Somebody had to get it."

Stephen Davis rushed for 142 yards and Kasay also kicked field goals of 28, 35 and 20 yards for Carolina (2-0), which set up Kasay's game-winner with Steve Smith's 52-yard punt return to the Tampa Bay 40.

Last week, the Panthers also blocked a punt for a safety and blocked a 55-yard field goal attempt to save a 24-23 win over Jacksonville.

Six days after opening the season with a dominating 17-0 victory over Philadelphia in a rematch of last season's NFC championship game, the Bucs (1-1) looked flat. They self-destructed with frequent mistakes, including 17 penalties for 168 yards.

"We all ate some humble pie today," Bucs defensive end Simeon Rice said. "We've got to put everything in front of us, understand what it is. It's just one game."

Trailing 9-3, the Bucs drove 82 yards in 10 plays to tie it on Brad Johnson's 6-yard pass to McCardell, who got both feet in bounds before falling out of the end zone.

The Panthers, who overcame a 17-point second-half deficit to win their opener, this time overcame 16 penalties for 120 yards. After Smith's punt return up the right sideline, Davis ran for 10 yards to the Tampa Bay 30.

Four plays later, Kasay kicked his game-winner.

Jake Delhomme, who came off the bench to lead Carolina's comeback against the Jaguars, was 9-of-23 for 96 yards in his third pro start. He was sacked twice and threw two interceptions, including Brian Kelly's pick that set up Gramatica's 41-yarder late in the third quarter.

Tampa Bay opened with a dominating performance against Philadelphia. It began the day with a chance to become the first team in more than 25 years to shut out three consecutive regular-season opponents.

Kasay's first field goal ended a stretch of 11 straight scoreless quarters for the Bucs' defense. Al Wallace returned an interception 53 yards to set up another field goal for a 6-0 halftime lead.

The Bucs outgained the Panthers 190-107 up to that point. But the defending champions hurt themselves with five costly penalties.

The sloppy play continued in the second half, with Tampa Bay being penalized seven times for 70 yards in the third quarter.

Johnson completed 34 of a career-high 61 passes for 339 yards. He was sacked once and threw one interception. Keyshawn Johnson led the Bucs with nine receptions for 102 yards, but dropped a leaping try in the end zone with 19 seconds left in regulation.

Brad Johnson found McCardell for the game-tying TD two plays later.

"Last year, we were 1-1 at this point and went to the Super Bowl," Keyshawn Johnson said. "There's no panic setting in for us. We just have to evaluate where we are at and what we did that was wrong out there and try to make the corrections."

Game notes


Carolina was 1-5 in the NFC South last year, with its only division win in the season finale against New Orleans. ... Davis, who rushed for 111 yards against Jacksonville last week, became the first Panthers runner to have multiple 100-yard games in a season since Tshimanga Biakabutuka in 1999. ... Tampa Bay receiver Joe Jurevicius sprained his right knee late in the third quarter and did not return. ... The Bucs had at least one sack and one interception for the 43rd straight game, the longest such streak in the last 40 years.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Team Stat Comparison

 
Carolina
Tampa Bay
1st Downs1425
3rd down efficiency
4-178-18
4th down efficiency
0-00-0
Total Yards258397
Yards per play4.04.7
Total Drives21
Passing87337
Comp-Att
9-2334-61
Yards per pass
3.85.5
Interceptions thrown
21
Sacks-Yards Lost
1-91-2
Rushing17160
Rushing Attempts
4022
Yards per rush
4.32.7
Penalties16-12017-168
Turnovers21
Fumbles lost
00
Interceptions thrown
21
Possession35:0136:31

Passing Leaders

CARC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Delhomme9/23964.2021-9
TBC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Johnson34/613395.6111-2

Rushing Leaders

CARCARYDSAVGTDLG
Davis331424.3020
Foster3206.7014
TBCARYDSAVGTDLG
Pittman10383.8016
Alstott492.304

Receiving Leaders

CARRECYDSAVGTDLG
Muhammad46115.3022
Smith3279.0014
TBRECYDSAVGTDLG
Johnson910211.3022
McCardell55310.6118

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERCARTB
FG12:55JOHN KASAY 28 YD
Drive: 12 plays, 70 yds, 6:30
30
SECOND QUARTERCARTB
FG14:46JOHN KASAY 35 YD
Drive: 4 plays, -11 yds, :35
60
THIRD QUARTERCARTB
FG4:49JOHN KASAY 20 YD
Drive: 11 plays, 70 yds, 4:49
90
FG12:53MARTIN GRAMATICA 41 YD
Drive: 4 plays, 3 yds, :43
93
FOURTH QUARTERCARTB
TD15:00KEENAN MCCARDELL 6 YD PASS FROM BRAD JOHNSON (PAT BLOCKED)
Drive: 11 plays, 82 yds, 1:49
99
OVERTIMECARTB
FG11:32JOHN KASAY 47 YD
Drive: 4 plays, 11 yds, 2:28
129