CHARLOTTE, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) – The Panthers decisively put to rest the tanking discussion Sunday.

Punctuated by a 29-yard 4th quarter touchdown from tight end Tommy Tremble, the Panthers (2-5)showed some resolve Sunday in what has been a challenging season so far, defeating the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 21-3 at Bank of America Stadium, and snapping a three-game skid.

It was a bright spot for Carolina after firing the head coach and trading away its best player this month.

This was the first game without the oft-injured Pro Bowler Christian McCaffrey, who was traded Thursday to San Fransisco. Chuba Hubbard led Carolina in the first half in rushing with 33 yards, nearly eclipsing his 34-yard season total coming into Sunday’s contest. D’Onta Foreman led Carolina in rushing finishing the game with 118 yards.

Hubbard posted a TD in the 3rd quarter, scoring on a 17-yard run to give the Panthers a 14-0 lead.

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The Panthers said throughout the week they were going to lean heavily on DJ Moore, and they did so pretty quickly Sunday. Moore had six catches for 59 yards in the first half including an acrobatic TD catch in the endzone from PJ Walker to give the Panthers an early 7-0 lead. Those were the only points on the scoreboard from either team in the first half.

The Bucs (3-4) finally got on the scoreboard in the 4th quarter with a field goal.

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Brady, who has struggled on and off this season, has been the subject of tabloid fodder regarding his marriage to Gisele Bundchen and a possible divorce. It’s the first time the 7-time Super Bowl champ and sure-fire first-ballot Pro Football Hall of Famer has had a record below .500 since 2002. It’s also his first game with no TD since December of 2021.

Brady finished 32-of-49 with 290 yards. Mike Evans was the biggest beneficiary, pulling in 9 catches for 97 yards.

PJ Walker finished the day 16-of-22 with 177 yards, no turnovers, and 2 TDs.

The Panthers now enter a bye week and then return to action with a Thursday night contest in Atlanta.