Now here's a different sort of problem for the Carolina Panthers -- their defense is getting absolutely torched.
For almost the entire season, the defense has been the only thing that has kept the Panthers in the game. Today, however, Carolina keeps allowing one long play after another and now has given up 3 TDs in the first half as Tampa Bay has taken a 21-10 lead.
The latest Bucs drive went 65 yards and ended with a TD pass from Josh Freeman to Kellen Winslow, who was double-covered, interfered with by Charles Godfrey and still made the catch. (That wasn't Tampa's longest march of the half, though -- the Bucs went 87 yards earlier).
The drive was helped along earlier by a 21-yard pass interference penalty on Panther LB Jon Beason, who has done nothing else of note today.
The Bucs' score came with 50 seconds left in the half. Carolina tried to do something offensively after that, but had already used up all its timeouts and so got nowhere.
So at halftime, it's Tampa Bay 21, Carolina 10.
A couple of halftime stats: fourth-string tailback Mike Goodson has rushed for 76 yards on 14 carries and may well end up as Carolina's first 100-yard rusher of the season. He did lose a fumble, however. Jimmy Clausen is 9-of-16 for 82 yards and no TDs or interceptions.
Tampa Bay QB Josh Freeman is really dominating the game when he's on the field, though. Carolina has been very hard-pressed to stop him.
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