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Buccaneers bounce back with 46-23 win over Panthers, marking Panthers' 5th straight loss

Carolina hosted its division rival from Tampa Bay on Sunday afternoon.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Carolina Panthers fell to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Charlotte Sunday. FINAL SCORE: 46-23. 

Tom Brady threw for 341 yards and was involved in four touchdowns, Ronald Jones ran for a franchise-record 98-yard touchdown and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers bounced back from a dreadful defeat last week with a resounding 46-23 win over the Carolina Panthers.

Coming off a 38-3 defeat to the Saints, Brady threw touchdown passes to Cameron Brate, Mike Evans and Rob Gronkowski and ran for another score in the fourth quarter to seal the win. 

Jones finished with a career-high 181 yards and became the fourth NFL player with a TD run of 98 yards or longer, joining Tony Dorsett, Derrick Henry and Ahman Green.

Speaking after the game, Panthers Head Coach Matt Rhule said the team needs to learn from this loss. Coach Rhule said he’s unbelievably disappointed in the way the team played in the second half, and that it’s unacceptable from every member of that locker room - players and coaches.

"Moving forward, all of us need to understand that what just happened, cannot happen," he said.

Rhule also said he didn't have an update on Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, who appeared to sustain a knee injury in the final quarter.

Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were late arrivals in Charlotte.

Originally scheduled to arrive in North Carolina at 4 p.m., Saturday, the Bucs were on the tarmac in Tampa for several hours and did not arrive until 11:15 p.m., according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.

In total, the team suffered a seven-hour delay. FOX's Jay Glazer reports the delay was due to mechanical issues, and that at one point, the Bucs had to switch planes before leaving.

Despite the rough start to their weekend, Tampa Bay was still favored to beat Carolina by six-and-a-half points. 

Carolina was without star running back Christian McCaffrey for the seventh time this season. McCaffrey returned from an ankle injury to score two touchdowns last week against Kansas City but suffered an injured shoulder in that game.

The Panthers have now lost five-straight games after a 3-2 start and now stand at 3-7 on the season.

The Bucs are now at 7-3, despite losing in embarrassing fashion, 38-3, at New Orleans last Sunday night.

The Panthers and Bucs first met in Week 2 of the season. Carolina shook off a 21-0 deficit and nearly came back in the second half, ultimately losing the game, 31-17.