The Tampa Bay Buccaneers host the Carolina Panthers in an NFC showdown Sunday afternoon from Raymond James Stadium. The Panthers were competitive in a 34-30 home defeat to the Las Vegas Raiders last week, but have a tougher opponent in this one. The Buccaneers will look to rebound from a 34-23 road loss to the Saints. Tom Brady is the subject of discussion after tossing two picks, will the GOAT rebound in his second game in a Bucs’ uniform? Each team recorded a win in the two-game season series in 2019.
Panthers Fall to Raiders, Bridgewater Shines in Carolina Debut
The Carolina Panthers head into this tough matchup on a losing note. They were three-point dogs in a tough 34-30 home loss to the Raiders last week. This is not the Panthers team of the past. New coach, new QB, and plenty of new defensive players. Teddy Bridgewater was solid in his Panthers’ debut, collecting 270 passing yards with one touchdown. The 27-year old was handed the #1 role after a stellar season with the Saints replacing an injured Drew Brees.
The Panthers' biggest name on offense is now Christian McCaffrey. The 24-year old running back has established himself as one of the best in the NFL and accumulated 1387 rushing yards in 2019. McCaffrey will probably see a ton of carries again this week after posting 96 yards in the season opener.
Robby Anderson was terrific in his Panthers debut, earning 115 receiving yards. The 27-year old WR tallied 779 yards with the Jets in 2019. The Panthers offense cannot be taken lightly and their 388 total yards in week one is an encouraging accomplishment.
The Panthers' defense isn’t quite the threat it was in the past. Luke Keuchly retired and they struggled against the run in 2019. Shaq Thompson is a defensive stud and should be a leader in the linebacker position. Thompson made a remarkable 12 tackles in Sunday’s loss.
Carolina could finish in last in the NFC South in Matt Rhule’s first year as head coach. The Panthers averaged 21.3 points last season, ranking them 20th overall. They allowed an average of 29.4 points, placing them down at 31st in the NFL.
Brady Rusty, Bucs Clobbered by Saints
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have been in the spotlight since Tom Brady departed the Patriots to join the Bucs. The expectations are high but they were not met in a 34-23 road loss to the Saints last week in a game that had the Bucs labeled as four-point dogs. Tom Brady clearly wasn’t in sync with his receivers which is understandable considering there was no preseason. The 42-year old future Hall of Famer accrued 239 passing yards with two touchdowns but threw two interceptions which is a rare sight from him. Brady should be much better this week.
The Bucs have a solid young RB in Ronald Jones II. The third-year back rushed for 724 yards last season and saw 17 carries for 66 yards last week. Brady has a ton of weapons at his disposal led by Mike Evans. The star WR was surprisingly only targeted four times last week. Evans has been one of the most consistent receivers in the NFL and earned over 1110 yards in 13 games in 2019.
Tampa Bay has playmakers on defense. They were effective against the rush last week and will be challenged again by the dangerous McCaffrey in this one. Keep an eye out for Lavonte David who is a tackling machine along with Shaquil Barrett who made a whopping 19.5 sacks in 2019.
The Buccaneers are obviously expected to contend for a title and it is too early to judge them after one game. Tampa Bay ranked third in the NFL with 28.6 points in 2019. They squandered an average of 28.1 points, pegging them 28th overall.
The Carolina Panthers are:
- 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games in Tampa Bay.
- 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games after allowing more than 350 total yards in their previous game.
- the road team is 9-3 ATS in the last 12 meetings between the Panthers and Bucs.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are:
- 3-8-2 ATS in their last 13 games overall.
- 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games following an ATS loss.
- 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games following a straight-up loss.