Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman (5) Mandatory Credit: Jason O. Watson-US PRESSWIRE
Charlotte, NC - The Buccaneers jumped out to an early 10-point lead before the Panthers pulled within 3 to end the first quarter.
Tampa Bay capitalized on a Captain Munnerlyn punt return fumble, caused by Erik Lorig.
With the ball on the 29-yard line the Bucs capped off a 6 play drive with a Josh Freeman touchdown pass to tight end Nate Bynham. The 3-yard score marked Freeman's fifteenth straight game with a passing touchdown, making it 7-0 Bucs.
On the next Tampa Bay posession, Connor Barth gave the pewter and red a 10-point lead with a 51-yard field goal.
But Carolina would get on the board when Freeman on third down tossed up an ill-advised pass that was intercepted by Munnerlyn and returned 74-yards for a touchdown.
The Bucs led after one quarter of play 10-7.
In the second quarter the Panthers would comeback to grab the lead on a one yard Jonathan Stewart touchdown run. The score capped a 77-yard drive, giving Carolina a 14-10 lead.
But the Panthers weren't done, so they thought as Cam Newton hit Steve Smith for a touchdown pass that would be nullified for offensive pass interference. At halftime Carolina maintains a 14-10 lead.
In the third quarter the Bucs got a break when Carolina went for a fake punt on fourth down, Haruki Nakamura's first down run attempt came up short.
From there the Buccaneers took over on the Panthers' 37-yard line, but on first and ten Freeman threw a duck that was picked off by Nakamura. The intended pass to Vincent Jackson turned out to be Freeman's second interception on the afternoon.
At the end of the third quarter the Panthers still lead 14-10.
In the fourth quarter the Bucs had a chance to take the lead on 4th and 1, but Doug Martin fumbled in to the endzone. It appeared he crossed the goal plain, but a referee review would call it a touchback and Carolina ball.
On the Panthers ensueing posession, they orechestrated an 80-yard drive when Newton hit Brandon LaFell for a 29-yard touchdown strike giving Carolina a 21-10 edge.
The Bucs would pull with in eight, following Barth's second field goal of the day.
Tampa Bay would get the ball back trailing 21-13 with just over a minute in the game. On the final drive in regulation, Freeman hit Jackson with a pin point pass over the top for a score with 12 seconds left. Trailing by two, the pewter and red hit on the two point conversion on play action as Freeman hit Jackson again over the middle for the game tieing score.
For the first time this season the Bucs headed in to overtime. In the extra session, Tampa Bay took advantage of winning the coin toss. Freeman would find Dallas Clark all alone near the pylon for the game winning touchdown.
As the Bucs win their fourth in a row and third straight on the road 27-21, sweeping the Panthers in the season series.