PANTHERS 31, BUCCANEERS 23
Drive: 7 plays, 67 yards, 3:56.
Key play: McCown connected with WR Chad Lucas for a 52-yard pass to the Panthers 5-yard line.
Tampa Bay 7, Carolina 0
Drive: 14 plays, 72 yards, 7:09.
Key play: Bucs LB Derrick Brooks was called for holding after Kasay made a 22-yard field goal that would have cut Tampa Bay's lead to 7-3. Instead, the Panthers got a fresh set of downs at the Bucs 2.
Tampa Bay 7, Carolina 7
TB: Bryant 31 field goal, 12:32
Drive: 4 plays, 5 yards, 1:40
Key play: Bucs CB Phillip Buchanon picked off Moore to give the Buccaneers the football at the Panthers 18-yard line.
Tampa Bay 10, Carolina 7
CAR: Dante Rosario 20 pass from Moore (Kasay kick), 6:40.
Drive: 11 plays, 68 yards, 5:52.
Key play: The Panthers successfully converted three third downs on the drive, including the touchdown pass to Rosario.
Carolina 14, Tampa Bay 10
TB: Bryant 23 field goal, 2:34
Drive: 5 plays, 12 yards, 1:20
Carolina 14, Tampa Bay 13
CAR: Kasay 19 field goal, :16.
Drive: 7 plays, 34 yards, 2:14.
Key play: Kick returner Ryne Robinson found a big hole up the side of the field and returned the kickoff 60 yards into Bucs territory.
Carolina 17, Tampa Bay 13
TB: Michael Bennett 23 pass from McCown (Bryant kick), 6:57.
Drive: 10 plays, 98 yards, 5:44.
Key play: McCown scrambled for 31 yards to move the Buccaneers into Panthers territory.
Tampa Bay 20, Carolina 17
CAR: DeAngelo Williams 1 run (Kasay kick), 4:03.
Drive: 5 plays, 68 yards, 2:54.
Key play: Moore connected with WR Drew Carter on a 46-yard reception to the Tampa Bay 1, setting up the touchdown run.
Carolina 24, Tampa Bay 20
TB: Bryant 49 field goal, 14:02.
Drive: 5 plays, 14 yards, 1:21.
Key play: PR Micheal Spurlock's solid return gave the Buccaneers starting field position in Panthers territory.
Carolina 24, Tampa Bay 23
CAR: Williams 32 run (Kasay kick), 6:24.
Drive: 6 plays, 69 yards, 3:21.
Key play: Moore fended off a backside blitz to hit Carter for a 13-yard gain and a first down the play before Williams scored.
Carolina 31, Tampa Bay 23
Quarterback: B. Luke McCown threw one big interception to a wide open Buc. But for the most part he ran the ball well and used his legs to emerge from some dicey situations. He did take four sacks, though.
Running backs: D. It was a pretty average outing, setting aside Michael Bennett's TD reception. It's never good when the quarterback is the leading rusher, and McCown was today. The Bucs did not run the ball effectively at all.
Wide receivers: B. Michael Clayton had one significant drop. But in his first NFL start Chad Lucas did a nice job and can now be included in next year's roster conversation. TE Jerramy Stevens continued his fine play with four receptions.
Offensive line: D. Another below average outing. For the second straight week the run game was anemic and the pass protection was suspect. The Bucs better hope it's the backup parts around these guys and not these guys.
Defensive line: D. One of their least stellar outings of the season. They put little pressure on Matt Moore and had a difficult times stopping the run. If puny DeAngelo Williams can rush for 121 yards, what will burly Brandon Jacobs do next week?
Linebackers: C. Jeremiah Trotter had a nice game as he auditioned for a job next year, either in Tampa Bay or elsewhere. Adam Hayward and Quincy Black combined for seven tackles in their most extended action of the season.
Secondary: B-. They did a fairly solid job except for a few key plays that opened up scoring chances for the Panthers. This was the defensive unit with the least amount of dropoff between the starters and reserves.
Special teams: B. P Josh Bidwell and PK Matt Bryant had nice days. Black forced a fumble in punt coverage. Micheal Spurlock gave the Bucs solid field position on two occasions. The kickoff coverage unit did commit a major gaffe allowing Ryne Robinson's 60-yard return.
Overall grade: C. The Bucs played with more inspiration than last week, but the result was the same — another close loss. Even with the backups in the game the Bucs had the same execution problems on third down offense and third down defense that they've had with the starters. Those two areas, plus their red zone efficiency, could be an albatross around their next next week against the Giants.
Bucs at a glance
Playoff pulse: The Bucs are set for their third postseason appearance under Jon Gruden.
What's coming up
Saturday or Sunday: vs. New York Giants. The Giants are coming off a 38-35 loss to New England on Saturday.