Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Carolina Panthers Preview and Predictions 09-12-2019
The Carolina Panthers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers struggled to overcome deficits in their respective season openers, with the former failing to get much out of anyone other than Christian McCaffrey while the latter saw Jameis Winston throw three interceptions -- with two returned for touchdowns. The NFC South rivals aim to dent the win column at the other's expense on Thursday, when they meet in Charlotte, N.C.
"Obviously, Christian was really good. Outside of Christian, we have a lot of work to do," Panthers Pro Bowl tight end Greg Olsen told reporters of McCaffrey, who erupted for 209 scrimmage yards (128 rushing, 81 receiving) and two touchdowns in Carolina's 30-27 setback against the Los Angeles Rams. The 23-year-old eviscerated Tampa Bay last season to the tune of 318 scrimmage yards and three TDs (two rushing, one receiving). While McCaffrey's season-opening performance drew rave reviews, Winston's stint was roundly panned in the Buccaneers' 31-17 loss to San Francisco - although coach Bruce Arians wasn't interested in harping on the not-too-distant past. "Learn from what you did, get it corrected," Arians told reporters. "And you get it corrected, the wins will start happening."
TV: 8:20 p.m. ET, NFL Network. LINE: Panthers -7. O/U: 49.5
ABOUT THE BUCCANEERS (0-1): Promising wide receiver Chris Godwin reeled in Winston's lone scoring strike last week and looks to build off his last encounter with Carolina, in which the 25-year-old recorded 101 receiving yards and a touchdown. Star wideout Mike Evans made just two catches for 28 yards in the opener after amassing a career-high 1,524 receiving yards last season. The 26-year-old had his way with the opposition in 2018, although Carolina's 6-1, 212-pound cornerback James Bradberry held him to a season-low 16 yards in Week 9. While Evans struggled to get it in gear on Sunday, second-year back Ronald Jones gained for 75 yards on 13 carries as Tampa Bay averaged 4.7 yards per carry.
ABOUT THE PANTHERS (0-1): Questions were raised about how Cam Newton looked on Sunday, and we're not talking about his "unconventional" postgame attire. The 2015 NFL MVP attempted just one pass of more than 20 yards and wasn't a part of the running game in the read-option, with his rushing total being a career-worst minus-2. "I'm not going to get into no philosophical discussion about throwing the ball downfield because that's not what this game is about. I took what the defense gives me," Newton, who finished 25-of-38 for 239 yards against the Rams, told reporters. D.J. Moore overcame a backward pass that resulted in a fumble to reel in seven passes for 76 yards.
1. Carolina DT Gerald McCoy faces his former team for the first time after recording 54.5 sacks in nine seasons with Tampa Bay.
2. Buccaneers LB Lavonte David collected 20 tackles and 1.5 sacks against the Panthers in 2018.
3. Olsen expects to play on Thursday after tweaking his back in the season opener.
News Breaking News
Key Players to Watch
no tickets found.
- UndisclosedQues Sun | questionable
Thompson has an unspecified injury, and it is undetermined if he will face the Cardinals on Sunday.
- ConcussionQues Sun | questionable
Little has been held out of the past two games due to a concussion, and it is unknown if he will be cleared from the concussion protocol in time for Sunday's clash against the Cardinals.
- FootQues Sun | questionable
Newton is battling a left foot injury, leaving his availability for Sunday's contest versus the Cardinals up in the air.
- UndisclosedQues Sun | questionable
Short is nursing an undefined injury, and it has yet to be established if he will be in Sunday's lineup versus the 49ers.
- GroinQues Sun | questionable
Gaulden was held out of the previous game due to a groin injury, and it is uncertain if he will suit up Sunday against the Cardinals.
- HamstringQues Sun | questionable
Irvin has sat out the last two games with a hamstring injury, and it is unclear if he will play against the Cardinals on Sunday.
- BackProb Thurs | probable
Olsen is nursing a sore back but is likely to face the Buccaneers on Thursday.
- GroinProb Sun | probable
Turner is dealing with a groin injury, but it is likely that he will suit up against the Rams on Sunday.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- KneeDoub Sun | doubtful
White exited the previous game due to a grade one MCL sprain in his left knee and is not expected to face the Giants on Sunday.
- IllnessQues Sun | questionable
Harris has been absent from the lineup during the previous two games due to an illness, and it is unknown if he will be ready Sunday against the Giants.
- AnkleQues Sun | questionable
Dean departed the previous game due to a left ankle injury, and it is undetermined if he will suit up Sunday against the Giants.
- LegQues Sun | questionable
Edwards was lifted from the last game due to a left leg injury, and it is uncertain if he will play against the Giants on Sunday.
- ShoulderDoub Sun | doubtful
Gabbert has sat out the past two games with a dislocated left shoulder and is unlikely to be available for Sunday's contest against the Giants.
- AchillesOut indefinitely | I-R
Evans has hit the injured reserve list with ongoing soreness in his Achilles tendon, and it is unclear when he will return.
- HandProb Thurs | probable
Nunez-Roches left the last game due to a hand injury but is expected to face the Panthers on Thursday.
- HamstringProb Thurs | probable
Bond was held out of the last game with a hamstring injury. He is projected to be active Thursday against the Panthers.
carolina-panthers Stats 2019-2020
tampa-bay-buccaneers Stats 2019-2020
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