Cam Newton became the most prolific rookie passer in NFL history on the Panthers' opening drive, and Carolina jumped out to a 10-0, first-quarter lead on the strength of an 80-yard drive and a LeGarrette Blount fumble.
Newton's 7-yard pass to Brandon LaFell moved him past Peyton Manning (3,739 yards) for the rookie passing record. Newton led the Panthers on a 9-play, 80-yard drive on the first series, which was capped by DeAngelo Williams' 8-yard touchdown run.
Blount then fumbled on the Bucs' first offensive snap, and linebacker James Anderson recovered at the Tampa Bay 8. But the Panthers couldn't get in the end zone and settled for a 21-yard field goal.
The Bucs were driving as the first quarter ended.