This game has been a major defensive battle so far. Carolina scored on a field goal on its first possession that was set up by two Jake Delhomme passes to Muhsin Muhammad.
After that, both teams' defenses played well. Tampa Bay's Matt Bryant banged a 39-yard field goal attempt off the upright and it was no good. Carolina missed a scoring opportunity when Ronde Barber jumped a throw to Dante Rosario and made a nice interception of Delhomme.
Then came Garcia's great throw down the left sideline to Antonio Bryant, who sped by first Ken Lucas and then Richard Marshall for 52 yards down to the Panther 3. (This was on a drive in which Carolina had two great chances for turnovers -- Na'il Diggs dropped an interception and then an early whistle short-circuited an apparent forced fumble by Chris Harris).
Carolina stopped Tampa Bay on first and second down, which set up third-and-goal from the 2. Garcia had all day on a play-action pass, but the Panthers had great coverage, and Tampa Bay was forced to settle for the field goal.
With 6:38 left in the second quarter, it's 3-all.
10 months ago