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Bucs lead early but Panthers look strong

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Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are beating the Carolina Panthers early on, mostly because of strong defensive play. They have a 3-0 lead.

The Bucs forced a punt with two consecutive punts on the Panthers' first drive, and then forced and recovered a fumble the very next time Carolina had the ball.

Doug Martin's having a tough game on the ground with just 14 yards on six carries, though he has added two receptions for 28 yards. Jameis Winston hasn't done much yet while the Panthers have actually put up a decent amount of yardage, but those have been negated by big plays out of the Tampa Bay defense.

The Panthers are in Tampa Bay territory right now and looking to score, so this could change quickly unless the Bucs come up with some big plays on defense again, though.