Black and Blue Review

Black and Blue Review

Carolina Panthers News and Coverage for the Digital Age

Rapid Reactions: Panthers Beat Up Bucs, Clinch No. 1 Seed


The NFC's road to the Super Bowl will go through Charlotte for the first time.

The Carolina Panthers put an exclamation point on a historic regular season by routing the Bucs, 38-10. A 15-1 record earns the Panthers a No. 1 seed for the first time in franchise history.

The Cardinals could have stolen the top seed if they combined a win over Seattle with a Carolina loss, but as Arizona was getting blown out, the Panthers were pulling away.

Quarterback Cam Newton helped turn a 3-0 deficit after the first quarter into a 24-3 lead at the half. Playing without top running back Jonathan Stewart and leading receiver Ted Ginn Jr., Newton cemented his MVP status with a nearly flawless performance. Through the air, Chosen's father went 21-of-26 for 293 yards and touchdowns. On the ground, he added two short scores.

Coach Ron Rivera let his starters play into the fourth quarter, a risky move with so much already locked up and with so much ahead. The Panthers have a bye before hosting a Divisional Round game Jan. 17. 

The Panthers, who extended their league-best home win streak to 11 games, need two more wins at Bank of America Stadium to book at trip to their second Super Bowl.



–Newton, dialed in


–Career day for Devin Funchess


Newton, passed Peyton Manning for the most combined yards in a player's first season, is now tied with Hall of Famer Steve Young for the most rushing touchdowns by a quarterback since 1970 (31). 


WR Devin Funchess set career highs with seven receptions and 120 yards. He also keep his odd week scoring streak alive. The rookie scored touchdowns in Weeks 9, 11, 13, 15 and 17. 


K Graham Gano set a new franchise record for points scored in a season (146).


CB Charles Tillman, who came back on a partially torn ACL in Week 15, re-injured his right knee in the third quarter. He spent the rest of the game watching from the trainer's table with ice wrapped around his knee. If Tillman did further damage to the ligament, the Panthers could be looking at starting Robert McClain in the playoffs.


LB A.J. Klein tweaked his hamstring in the third quarter and did not return.


LB Luke Kuechly hurt his left shoulder late in the first half. He missed a couple plays but returned after halftime with a brace wrapped around his shoulder.


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