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Cam Newton carries Panthers past Bucs; 38-19

Cam Newton ran for three touchdowns to set the NFL single-season record for rushing TDs by a quarterback, leading the Carolina Panthers to a 38-19 stomping of the struggling Buccaneers on Sunday.

The nimble Newton scored the 11th, 12th and 13th scores on the ground via a trio of 1-yard runs. He also had a 27-yard reception to set up Jonathan Stewart’s first-quarter TD and threw a 19-yard TD pass to Legedu Naanee to finish one of Carolina’s three scoring drives of 80-plus yards.

The Panthers (4-8), who won their second straight game, doubled their victory total for last season.

In addition to his dominance running the rock, Cam completed 12 of 21 passes for 204 yards and no interceptions. He added 54 yards rushing on 14 carries, combining with Stewart (14 attempts, 80 yards) to help Carolina gain 163 on the ground.

Newton nearly scored on a 27-yard reception after throwing backward to Naanee on the far side of the field and taking a throw-back to the left.  Stewart’s 1-yard run put Carolina up, 14-0.

The Auburn alum elevated over the pile to finalize an 83-yard, game-opening drive and tied the record for rushing touchdowns by a quarterback to make it 31-12 in the third quarter.

His third score, giving him one more than New England’s Steve Grogan scored in 1976, capped a 15-play, 81-yard journey.

More: The Panthers finished all five of their red zone visits with trips to the end zone.  They were 6-11 on third downs, including 1-1 on fourth down.  Also, they had 11 more first downs (26-15) than Tampa, outgained them by 100 yards (385-285), and only committed two penalties on the afternoon.

Next: Sunday December 11 vs. Atlanta Falcons, 1 ET.

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