Newton throws for 2 TDs, Panthers beat Bucs 31-13
TAMPA, Florida (AP) — Quarterback Cam Newton pranced into the end zone, placed his hands over his chest and did his familiar Superman pose. He’s says the surging Carolina Panthers are hardly a one-man show, though.
An efficient Newton threw two touchdown passes and ran for another score to pace a 31-13 victory over the winless Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the NFL on Thursday.
The Panthers won for the fourth time in five games following an 0-2 start and climbed over .500 for the first time in five years. They’ve won three straight, with Newton throwing for 667 yards, six touchdowns and no interceptions. He also has two rushing touchdowns in the past three weeks.
“When you’ve got an offensive line that’s protecting the way they protect, when you’ve got a running back that’s running, you’ve got receivers making plays after the catch, it’s really not hard,” Newton said. “It’s just up to me to make the right decision and get the ball into the right people’s hands.”
The Buccaneers, one of two NFL teams yet to win, have dropped the first seven games in a season for the seventh time in franchise history. They’ve lost 12 of 13 dating to last year, and some fans showed up at Raymond James Stadium carrying signs and wearing paper bags over their heads urging second-year coach Greg Schiano to be fired.
Schiano said calls for his dismissal haven’t become a distraction for him or his players.
“It doesn’t affect me. ’People are certainly entitled to their opinion. ... You sit there and cry about it, but that’s not going to help.”
Newton tossed a 1-yard touchdown pass to Greg Olsen in the first quarter and added a 3-yarder to Mike Tolbert on the first play of the fourth quarter for a 28-6 lead. Newton had his way against the Bucs in between those scores, too, setting up a nifty 12-yard touchdown run by DeAngelo Williams and getting into the end zone himself with a 6-yard run midway through the third quarter.
The third-year quarterback completed 23 of 32 passes for 221 yards. He also rushed for a team-high 50 yards on 11 attempts.
Rookie Mike Glennon threw for 275 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions in his fourth start for Tampa Bay, which trailed 31-6 before finally getting into the end zone on Tim Wright’s 10-yard reception with just under 3 minutes remaining.