The Carolina Panthers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers meet on Sunday in Week 8 for the 34th time, all in the regular season. The Panthers lead the all-time series with a 20-13 record.
Last season, the Buccaneers swept the season series. They won at Bank of America Stadium in Week 5 before winning at Raymond James Stadium in Week 17.
Here are the three most memorable moments in the Panthers-Buccaneers rivalry.
#1 Todd Sauerbrun and Martin Gramatica develop a hatred toward each other
There is nothing better than a pair of kickers trading barbs in the media. Panthers punter Todd Sauerbrun did not like the way Buccaneers kicker Martin Gramatica celebrated his field goals in the first meeting between the two teams in 2002.
Prior to the second meeting, Sauerbrun said that Martin’s youngest brother, Santiago, heckled him after the first game. He called the three Gramatica brothers (Bill, being the middle of the three) “idiots.” That prompted Martin to attack him, but he was restrained. Martin added that “one hundred percent of the people that know (Sauerbrun) don’t like him.”
The feud between the two continued for years as Sauerbrun called the Gramaticas “f****** greaseballs” and passionately talked the Panthers out of bringing Bill in as their kicker. Martin even said that if both of them were chosen for the Pro Bowl, he would not participate. He did not want Sauerbrun holding for his kick attempts.
#2 Brentson Buckner and Warren Sapp have war of words
It did not take long for another off-field verbal spat to heat up between the two teams. After getting swept by the Buccaneers in the first year as division rivals, Panthers defensive lineman Brentson Buckner created bulletin board material in 2003. The then-32-year-old veteran said that teammate Kris Jenkins was better than Pro Bowl veteran Buccaneers defensive tackle Warren Sapp. That was tame and nothing really until Sapp responded. He said that he doesn’t think Buckner “has any pineapple in his diet,” in reference to the veteran having not been to the Pro Bowl in Hawaii.
The Panthers responded with their second victory over the Buccaneers and first since 1996. It took a blocked extra point and overtime field goal to win, but the Panthers got the much-needed victory.
#3 Martin Gramatica makes last-second field goal in first meeting as division rivals
The best on-field moment came in their meeting as division rivals on October 27, 2002. The NFL realigned divisions to get better geographical matchups, which included moving the Panthers out of the NFC West and the Buccaneers out of the NFC Central to the newly former NFC South.
The Buccaneers, led by backup quarterback Rob Johnson, ground out a 12-9 win on four field goals by Martin Gramatica. He was good from 32, 52 and 53 yards, before making a 47-yarder in the final seconds to break the 9-9 tie.
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