The Series: With the 31-16 victory, Tampa Bay swept the season series with Carolina, who leads the all-time series 12-9. The Panthers lost to the Buccaneers, 20-7, earlier this season at Bank of America Stadium (9/19/10). This marked the first time since 2002 that Tampa Bay defeated Carolina in both regular season meetings.
For Starters: Jimmy Clausen started at quarterback for Matt Moore, who was placed on injured reserve (11/9/10) with a torn labrum in his right shoulder. Running back Mike Goodson made his first career start in place of DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart, who were inactive with a sprained foot and concussion, respectively.
Defensively, Nic Harris opened at weakside linebacker and Jon Beason moved to middle linebacker with Dan Connor going on injured reserve (11/9/10) with a broken left hip. It marked Harris' third career start after making two starts as a rookie for Buffalo in 2009. Beason previously made 12 starts at middle linebacker in 2007 and started all 16 games at middle linebacker in 2008 and 2009.
Paws For Clausen: Quarterback Jimmy Clausen completed 16-of-29 passes for a career-high 191 yards and no touchdowns with no interceptions to produce a 75.5 quarterback rating. He surpassed his previous single-game high of 188 yards versus Cincinnati (9/26/10) and equaled his single-game high of 16 completions, also achieved versus Cincinnati (9/26/10). Additionally, Clausen rushed for 11 yards on six attempts and was sacked twice. In seven games with four starts this season, he has completed 67-of-138 passes for 692 yards and one touchdown with four interceptions.
Carrying The Load: Running back Mike Goodson rushed for a team-leading 100 yards on 23 carries - both career highs. Entering the game with just 99 career rushing yards, the second-year player bettered his previous single-game bests of 44 yards and 13 carries versus New Orleans (1/3/10).
Goodson became the first Panthers player to produce a 100-yard rushing performance this season and the first since running back Jonathan Stewart with 125 yards versus New Orleans (1/3/10). He is the second Panthers running back to gain 100 yards in their first NFL start against the Buccaneers. Stewart compiled 120 yards in his first career start last year versus Tampa Bay (12/6/09).
Running back Josh Vaughan, who spent two games on the Panthers' practice squad earlier this season, made his NFL debut and carried three times for seven yards. He scored Carolina's only touchdown on a 2-yard run in the second quarter.
On The Receiving End: Wide receivers Steve Smith, David Gettis and Brandon LaFell and running back Mike Goodson shared the team lead with three receptions each with Smith posting a team-high 47 receiving yards. Smith leads the Panthers with 30 catches for 365 yards and two touchdowns this season.
In The Zone: The Panthers posted a 66.7 percent efficiency rating in the red zone, scoring one touchdown and one field goal on three trips inside the Buccaneers' 20-yard line. Carolina turned the ball over on downs at Tampa Bay's 1-yard line on their final possession of the game. The Panthers have been successful on 10-of-19 red zone opportunities, scoring five touchdowns and five field goals for a 52.6 percent conversion rate and 26.3 percent touchdown conversion rate, this season.
Takeaway/Giveaway: Carolina forced two turnovers on two fumbles. Tight end Dante Rosario recovered a muffed punt by Buccaneers cornerback Elbert Mack in the second quarter, and linebacker James Anderson recovered a fumbled handoff by Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman in the third quarter.
The Panthers turned it over once on one fumble to finish with a plus-one turnover ratio. The two takeaways resulted in seven points for Carolina, and the one giveaway led to seven points for Tampa Bay. The Panthers have a negative-10 turnover ratio this season, compiling an 0-3 record when having a positive turnover margin and a 1-5 record when having a negative turnover margin.
Sakrete Sacks: The Panthers collected one sack against the Buccaneers and have gathered 13 this season. Defensive end Everette Brown corralled Tampa Bay quarterback Josh Freeman for his first sack of the year, taking Freeman down for a 6-yard loss in the first quarter.
During the 2010 season, Sakrete, a leader in concrete and concrete-related products, is donating $100 to the BVC Playground Build for every sack Carolina records. Through nine games, $1,300 has been raised.
The Specialists: Kicker John Kasay connected on all three of his field goal attempts - converting from 46, 28 and 48 yards - and his only extra point chance. He has been successful on 13-of-15 field goal attempts and perfect on all nine of his extra point opportunities for a team-leading 48 points this season.
Punter Jason Baker generated a gross average of 31.6 yards and net average of 30.6 yards with two inside the 20, no touchbacks and long of 35 yards on five punts. His gross average decreased to 42.8 yards and his net average fell to 37.0 yards with 13 punts inside the 20, three touchbacks and long of 57 yards this season.
Kickoff specialist Rhys Lloyd placed three-of-five kickoffs in the end zone with one touchback, helping limit the Buccaneers to an average kickoff drive start of their own 16-yard line. He has reached the end zone on 21-of-28 kickoffs with nine touchbacks this season.
Safety Jordan Pugh and wide receiver David Gettis shared kickoff return duties with Mike Goodson starting at running back. Pugh averaged 22.0 yards on three returns, while Gettis returned two kicks for 35 yards.
Inactives: The following eight players were inactive for the Panthers: wide receiver Armanti Edwards (third quarterback), defensive end Greg Hardy, linebacker Abdul Hodge, running back Jonathan Stewart, running back Tyrell Sutton, wide receiver Devin Thomas, running back DeAngelo Williams, and cornerback C.J. Wilson.