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In his first game back in Carolina since suffering a career-threatening knee injury 14 months ago, Carnell "Cadillac" Williams had a 4-yard touchdown run late in the third quarter to tie it at 17.
DeAngelo Williams and Stewart then took over.
Stewart rumbled over tackles for an 18-yard gain before his 4-yard TD run with 13:21 left put the Panthers ahead to stay.
After Peppers sacked Garcia to end the Buccaneers' next drive, Williams and Stewart dazzled.
Williams gained 41 yards, Stewart picked up 3 and 30, and then Williams raced 16 yards for the decisive four-play TD drive.
"Some of the plays were plays we'd seen before," Bucs linebacker Derrick Brooks said. "They did a good job of blocking us this time. I've got to give them credit for breaking tackles and making us miss."
Williams became only the third player in Carolina's 14-year history to surpass 1,000 yards rushing in a season when he rumbled 40 yards up the middle. That set up Stewart's 2-yard TD run with 1:56 left before halftime that gave Carolina a 10-3 lead.
Carolina finished with 299 yards rushing, surpassing the team-record 264 it had last month against Detroit. The total was only 7 yards shy of the most allowed by Tampa Bay.
"It is embarrassing, definitely," linebacker Barrett Ruud said. "Especially since you don't get many opportunities to have that national audience and this was by far our worst game."
Notes: Tampa Bay extended its streak of not scoring a first-quarter TD to six games. ... Stewart's two TDs gave him eight, breaking the Panthers' single-season record for rookies held by the late Fred Lane. ... Bucs DT Jovan Haye (knee) did not play, replaced by Ryan Sims in the starting lineup.
Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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