Tampa overcomes slow start to dominate Carolina Panthers
(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers overcame a slow first quarter that only saw them score three points and woke up scoring 38 unanswered points the rest of the game.

A rough start but Brady turns it around

The Carolina Panthers started the game on offense with Sam Darnold starting the game at quarterback on the first drive of the game. The Panthers drove down the field and scored on the opening drive when Chubba Hubbard ran the ball in for the 7-0 lead.

Tom Brady got the ball for his first possession of the game but went three and out on their opening drive as they were stopped by the second-best defense in the league.

On the Panthers next time, they got to the Bucs 40, and on their second fourth down attempt of the drive Darnold's pass was incomplete and Tampa got its first defensive stop of the game as the first quarter ended.

(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Brady on his second drive got his offense to Carolina's 20-yard line including a fourth-down conversion but ended up only kicking a 29-yard field goal by Ryan Succop to make it 7-3 after being stopped once again by the Carolina defense.

The Bucs made a big stop on the following drive stopping the Panthers at the goal-line and recovered the football. Matt Rhule challenged the call but upon review, the call stood.

The Bucs once again punted the ball after being stuck in their own endzone and failing to get points on the drive. With 15 seconds left in the first half Brady pulled off another last-minute drive that he capped off by handing it off to Le'Veon Bell who ran it into the endzone and Tampa took a 10-7 lead.

(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Bucs finish the game strong

The Buccaneers got the ball at the beginning of the second half and Brady and his offense went back to work. Tampa scored three minutes into the half with the Bucs driving Brady handed it off on the goal line to Ke'Shawn Vaughn for his second touchdown of the year to make it 17-7.

The Bucs defense also stood tall and stopped another drive forcing the visitors to punt the ball once again. The Panthers reduced Tampa's lead to seven as Lirim Hajrullahu kicked a 35-yard field goal to make it 17-10.

Tampa started the fourth quarter with Tom Brady on Carolina's eight-yard line and with one throw found Mike Evans in the endzone to make it 24-10 for the Bucs.

(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

With 10 minutes left in the game on a fourth-down conversion, Carolina reduced Tampa's lead to seven when Darnold found Robbie Anderson to make it 24-17.

Brady responded on the following drive when he once again found Evans who ran in another touchdown to make it 31-17 with seven minutes left in the game.

On the ensuing drive Darnold faked a handoff and ended up fumbling the ball and the Bucs recovered the football. Head coach Bruce Arians decided to pull Brady from the game and put in Blaine Gabbert.

(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

On that drive, Succop ended up kicking another field goal to make it 34-17 this time from 37 yards out. On Gabbert's second drive it lasted one play as Scotty Miller got the handoff and ran in a 33-yard touchdown to make it 41-17.

With 3:55 left in the game, Darnold was picked off again this time by Andrew Adams and the Bucs got the football back but failed to score points as Succop slipped and missed a field goal attempt.

The final seconds ticked off and Tampa Bay finished the season with a 13-4 record and confirmed playoff game next weekend against the Philadelphia Eagles.

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