The Buccaneers find themselves trailing the Panthers, 24-3, during their Week 17 matchup with the Panthers in Charlotte. Tampa Bay has struggled to slow down Carolina's offense, which has picked up 256 yards in the first half and controlled the ball for the majority of the game.
Tampa Bay scored first when Connor Barth connected on a 39-yard field goal. Their score was set up when Alterraun Verner forced a fumble, which was recovered by Lavonte David.
Carolina answered with 24 unanswered points. Cam Newton ran or a score and threw a touchdown pass while Cameron Artis-Payne scored once on the ground. Graham Gano added a 49-yarder to help send the Panthers into halftime with a 21-point lead.
Although his opportunities have been limited thus far, Jameis Winston reached a significant milestone in the first half. He has 71 passing yards, which move him past Peyton Manning for the third-most passing yards by a rookie quarterback in a single season in NFL history.
Doug Martin, still chasing Adrian Peterson for the NFL rushing title, has some ground to make up. He trailed Peterson by 64 yards at the start of the game and has 11 so far. Peterson and the Vikings will play on Sunday Night Football against the Packers at 8:30 p.m.
The Buccaneers are set to receive at the start of the second half. They won the toss to start the game but elected to defer.