The Panthers have taken a 10-point lead with 7:12 left in the fourth quarter thanks to big plays by both the offense and defense.
First, it was the defense. Tampa Bay drove down to the Carolina 3, where it faced fourth-and-goal. Josh Freeman dropped back, waited... and threw his fourth interception of the game, to safety Chris Harris. That kept the score at 13-6 -- a TD would have tied it at 13-all.
Then, quickly, the Panthers went deep. Matt Moore, whose arm strength on the deep ball has always been one of his signatures, fired a gorgeous rainbow to Steve Smith. Smith hauled it in and, although he was quickly tackled, it went for 66 yards.
After that, the Panthers put the handcuffs back on Moore -- he handed off 3 times in a row. But you can't blame John Fox much for that one. He needed to make it a two-possession game. The short field goal by John Kasay -- his third of the game -- made it 16-6.
10 months ago