Tampa Bay has controlled the clock and, more importantly, the scoreboard as they take a 13-0 lead into halftime over the Carolina Panthers. The Buccaneers are showing that one of the most effective ways to contain Carolina quarterback Cam Newton is to keep him on the sidelines.
The Buccaneers had an advantage of more than seven minutes in time of possession during the first half. Tampa had a 13-play, 90-yard drive stall out at the goal line, forcing the Bucs to settle for a 20-yard field goal to make the score 13-0.
If not for two passes that were tipped at the line, Josh Freeman would be perfect on the afternoon. Instead, he is 12-of-14 for 122 yards and a touchdown. Vincent Jackson has three receptions for 43 yards and Doug Martin rushed 10 times for 28 yards. For Tampa Bay, the most important number in the first half is the the zero next to turnovers in the box score.
Cam Newton is 12-of-17 for 112 yards in the first half, with much of that coming on the Panthers' final possession of the half. Steve Smith had three catches for 58 yards, but the Carolina running game is non-existent, totaling six rushes for -1 yard in the first half.