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Carolina Panthers vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers Pick & Prediction SEP 20TH 2020

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It still figures that all eyes will be on Tom Brady in his second game with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

This time, the veteran makes his home debut with his new team, which takes on the Carolina Panthers on Sunday afternoon at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla.

Much attention was placed on Brady for his first NFL game without a New England Patriots uniform. So after a loss to the New Orleans Saints in a performance that was sprinkled with glitches, the pressure to make it right in Week 2 might be even greater.

Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians said he understands that expectations rose upon the offseason signing of Brady and that after one game there's no reason for a major shift.

"I was amused when they handed us the Lombardi Trophy in July," Arians said. "If we win a few games, everyone will be back on the bandwagon."

Arians' critical comments regarding Brady's first game with the team stirred some postgame controversy. That wasn't a lingering issue among the Buccaneers (0-1), who are all on the same page in preparing for the Panthers (0-1), Arians said.

"Tom and I are fine," he said. "I don't really care what other people think. It's just what he and I think."

Brady threw a pair of touchdown passes and rushed for a score but he was picked off twice at New Orleans.

Brady will try to pick apart an inexperienced Carolina defense. The Panthers are coming off a game when their defense didn't register a sack for the first time in almost two years.

The Panthers dropped their opener 34-30 to the Las Vegas Raiders, spoiling the debut of coach Matt Rhule.

"It is a long season," Carolina quarterback Teddy Bridgewater said. "We don't want to make it one that's too long, where certain trends and things continue to roll throughout the season."

Rhule said there's plenty to study going into the second game because the Panthers found themselves in so many different situations. Rhule and his staff were criticized for a fourth-down play call in the final 80 seconds, deciding not to give the ball to do-everything running back Christian McCaffrey.

That's one of the situations scrutinized.

"We need to play some games and find out more about our team and find out how we can improve," Rhule said. "So we will improve, and we will continue to get better. We will be a good team here pretty soon."

Bridgewater might have begun a new quarterback-receiver relationship with Robby Anderson, who made six catches for 115 yards and a score.

Last October while playing for New Orleans, Bridgewater produced one of the finest games of his career against Tampa Bay. He tossed four touchdown passes in a victory.

One area to keep an eye one could be how Buccaneers linebacker Devin White fares in coverage as he's expected to be assigned to keep tabs on McCaffrey.

"It all starts with him," Arians said of McCaffrey.

The Panthers saw many of the possibilities during encouraging moments in the matchup with the Raiders. They sense that with some tweaking, they can achieve the kind of results that they covet.

The Carolina defense was exposed, unable to prevent another lead change after the Panthers overcame a 12-point fourth-quarter hole. The unit is stocked with youth and expects to build on the positives.

"There was a lot of good football played on our end," Panthers linebacker Tahir Whitehead said. "We proved ourselves in most cases that we could go out there, we can play and we have the grit to go out there and continue to grind all the way until the fourth quarter."

The Panthers are uncertain about the status of defensive tackle Kawann Short, who missed practice time this week after suffering a foot injury against Las Vegas. Cornerback Donte Jackson, who left the opener with an ankle injury, was in action for midweek practice.

Tampa Bay's main injury concern relates to receiver Chris Godwin, who was in the concussion protocol. He had a team-high 79 receiving yards in the opener.

When Rhule was a college coach, he visited Arians-coached Arizona Cardinals teams to study what the NFL team did defensively.

Carolina is 24-15 all-time against Tampa Bay, including a 12-7 road record. The NFC South rivals didn't meet last year in Tampa because the designated Buccaneers home game was contested in London, where the Panthers won.

--Field Level Media

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Carolina Panthers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Player Position Lineup
Brian Burns primary: Defensive End Starter
Donte Jackson primary: Cornerback Starter
Chris Manhertz primary: Tight End Starter
Christian McCaffrey primary: Runningback Starter
DJ Moore primary: Wide Receiver Starter
Taylor Moton primary: Offensive Tackle Starter
Matt Paradis primary: Center Starter
Ian Thomas primary: Tight End Starter
Shaq Thompson primary: Linebacker Starter
Russell Okung primary: Offensive Tackle Starter
Tre Boston primary: Free Safety Starter
Juston Burris primary: Strong Safety Starter
John Miller primary: Guard Starter
Tahir Whitehead primary: Linebacker Starter
Stephen Weatherly primary: Defensive End Starter
Zach Kerr primary: Defensive Tackle Starter
Teddy Bridgewater primary: Quarterback Starter
Robby Anderson primary: Wide Receiver Starter
Derrick Brown primary: Defensive Tackle Starter
Jeremy Chinn primary: Safety Starter
Michael Schofield primary: Guard Starter
Rasul Douglas primary: Cornerback Starter
Alex Armah primary: Fullback Substitution
Jermaine Carter primary: Linebacker Substitution
Mike Davis primary: Runningback Substitution
Corn Elder primary: Defensive Back Substitution
Woodrow Hamilton primary: Defensive Tackle Substitution
Marquis Haynes primary: Defensive End Substitution
J.J. Jansen primary: Long Snapper Substitution
Tyler Larsen primary: Center Substitution
Greg Little primary: Offensive Tackle Substitution
Curtis Samuel primary: Wide Receiver Substitution
Joey Slye primary: Kicker Substitution
Brandon Zylstra primary: Wide Receiver Substitution
Pharoh Cooper primary: Wide Receiver Substitution
Seth Roberts primary: Wide Receiver Substitution
Troy Pride Jr. primary: Cornerback Substitution
Bravvion Roy primary: Defensive Tackle Substitution
Colin Thompson primary: Tight End Substitution
Myles Hartsfield primary: Defensive Back Substitution
Sam Franklin primary: Safety Substitution
Joseph Charlton primary: Punter Substitution
Adarius Taylor primary: Linebacker Substitution
Trenton Cannon primary: Runningback Substitution
Julian Stanford primary: Linebacker Substitution
Trent Scott primary: Guard Substitution
Efe Obada primary: Defensive End Substitution
Dennis Daley primary: Guard Not active
Will Grier primary: Quarterback Not active
Kawann Short primary: Defensive Tackle Not active
P.J. Walker primary: Quarterback Did not play
Yetur Gross-Matos primary: Defensive End Not active
Stantley Thomas-Oliver III primary: Defensive Back Not active
Shareef Miller primary: Defensive End Not active
Player Position Lineup
Shaquil Barrett primary: Outside Linebacker Starter
Sean Murphy-Bunting primary: Cornerback Starter
Alex Cappa primary: Right Guard Starter
Lavonte David primary: Inside Linebacker Starter
Carlton Davis primary: Cornerback Starter
Mike Evans primary: Wide Receiver Starter
William Gholston primary: Defensive Linesman Starter
Ryan Jensen primary: Center Starter
Ronald Jones II primary: Runningback Starter
Ali Marpet primary: Left Guard Starter
Scotty Miller primary: Wide Receiver Starter
Jason Pierre-Paul primary: Outside Linebacker Starter
Donovan Smith primary: Left Tackle Starter
Vita Vea primary: Nose Tackle Starter
Justin Watson primary: Wide Receiver Starter
Devin White primary: Inside Linebacker Starter
Jordan Whitehead primary: Safety Starter
Tom Brady primary: Quarterback Starter
Ndamukong Suh primary: Defensive Linesman Starter
Rob Gronkowski primary: Tight End Starter
Tristan Wirfs primary: Right Tackle Starter
Antoine Winfield Jr. primary: Safety Starter
Cameron Brate primary: Tight End Substitution
Jack Cichy primary: Linebacker Substitution
Jamel Dean primary: Defensive Back Substitution
Mike Edwards primary: Defensive Back Substitution
Cyril Grayson primary: Wide Receiver Substitution
O.J. Howard primary: Tight End Substitution
Tanner Hudson primary: Tight End Substitution
Anthony Nelson primary: Linebacker Substitution
Rakeem Nunez-Roches primary: Defensive End Substitution
Patrick O'Connor primary: Defensive End Substitution
Bradley Pinion primary: Punter Substitution
Ryan Smith primary: Defensive Back Substitution
Zach Triner primary: Long Snapper Substitution
Mazzi Wilkins primary: Defensive Back Substitution
Quinton Bell primary: Defensive End Substitution
Kevin Minter primary: Linebacker Substitution
Andrew Adams primary: Safety Substitution
Ke'Shawn Vaughn primary: Runningback Substitution
Josh Wells primary: Offensive Tackle Substitution
LeSean McCoy primary: Runningback Substitution
Jaydon Mickens primary: Wide Receiver Substitution
Leonard Fournette primary: Runningback Substitution
Ryan Succop primary: Kicker Substitution
Chris Godwin primary: Wide Receiver Not active
Ryan Griffin primary: Quarterback Not active
Aaron Stinnie primary: Offensive Tackle Not active
Joe Haeg primary: Offensive Tackle Did not play
Blaine Gabbert primary: Quarterback Did not play
Tyler Johnson primary: Wide Receiver Not active
Khalil Davis primary: Defensive Tackle Not active
Cam Gill primary: Linebacker Not active
Parnell Motley primary: Defensive Back Not active
A.Q. Shipley primary: Center Did not play

Carolina Panthers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

  • Match Start
  • Period 1
  • MIN 4
    • scoring-play
    • Touchdown
    • Pass
    • 23 Yards
    • Passer: Tom Brady
    • Conv Kicker: Ryan Succop
    • Pass Receiver: Mike Evans
  • MIN 5
    • scoring-play
    • Touchdown
    • Rush
    • 7 Yards
    • Conv Kicker: Ryan Succop
    • Rusher: Ronald Jones II
  • Period 2
  • MIN 3
    • scoring-play
    • Touchdown
    • Rush
    • 1 Yards
    • Rusher: Leonard Fournette
    • Conv Kicker: Ryan Succop
  • Period 3
  • MIN 8
    • scoring-play
    • Touchdown
    • Rush
    • 1 Yards
    • Conv Kicker: Joey Slye
    • Rusher: Christian McCaffrey
  • Period 4
  • MIN 1
    • scoring-play
    • Field Goal
    • 23 Yards
    • FG Kicker: Joey Slye
  • MIN 1
    • scoring-play
    • Touchdown
    • Rush
    • 46 Yards
    • Conv Kicker: Ryan Succop
    • Rusher: Leonard Fournette
  • MIN 6
    • scoring-play
    • Field Goal
    • 33 Yards
    • FG Kicker: Ryan Succop
  • MIN 13
    • scoring-play
    • Touchdown
    • Rush
    • 7 Yards
    • Conv Kicker: Joey Slye
    • Rusher: Christian McCaffrey
  • Match End


Last 10

W 40% L 60%
4 6
  • Detroit W 0 - 20
  • Tampa Bay L 46 - 23
  • @Kansas City L 31 - 33
  • Atlanta L 25 - 17
  • @New Orleans L 24 - 27
  • Chicago L 23 - 16
  • @Atlanta W 23 - 16
  • Arizona W 21 - 31
  • @L.A. Chargers W 21 - 16
  • @Tampa Bay L 17 - 31
W 70% L 30%
7 3
  • L.A. Rams L 27 - 24
  • @Carolina W 46 - 23
  • New Orleans L 38 - 3
  • @N.Y. Giants W 25 - 23
  • @Las Vegas W 45 - 20
  • Green Bay W 10 - 38
  • @Chicago L 19 - 20
  • L.A. Chargers W 31 - 38
  • @Denver W 28 - 10
  • Carolina W 17 - 31

Next Games

  • @Minnesota(11-30-14) L 13 - 31
  • Denver(11-11-12) L 36 - 14
  • @Green Bay(11-10-19) L 16 - 24
  • @Washington(10-14-18) L 17 - 23
  • New Orleans(12-29-19) L 42 - 10
  • Kansas City(10-14-12) W 10 - 38
  • Minnesota(10-26-14) L 19 - 13
  • @Atlanta(11-24-19) W 35 - 22
  • @Detroit(12-15-19) W 38 - 17
  • Atlanta(12-29-19) L 28 - 22

Last Meetings

  • Buccaneers @ Panthers 46-23
  • Panthers @ Buccaneers 17-31
  • Panthers @ Buccaneers 37-26
  • Buccaneers @ Panthers 20-14
  • Panthers @ Buccaneers 17-24
  • Buccaneers @ Panthers 28-42
  • Buccaneers @ Panthers 19-22
  • Panthers @ Buccaneers 17-3
  • Panthers @ Buccaneers 16-17
  • Buccaneers @ Panthers 17-14

American Football Conference

Buffalo Bills73 0.7000.00.00.0 4-13-27-0-3
Miami Dolphins64 0.6001.00.00.0 3-23-26-0-4
New England Patriots46 0.4003.00.00.0 3-21-44-0-6
New York Jets010 0.0007.00.00.0 0-50-50-0-10
Pittsburgh Steelers100 01.0000.00.00.0 5-05-010-0-0
Cleveland Browns73 0.7003.00.00.0 5-12-27-0-3
Baltimore Ravens64 0.6004.00.00.0 2-34-16-0-4
Cincinnati Bengals27 1.2227.50.00.0 2-20-52-1-7
Indianapolis Colts73 0.7000.00.00.0 4-13-27-0-3
Tennessee Titans73 0.7000.00.00.0 4-23-17-0-3
Houston Texans37 0.3004.00.00.0 2-31-43-0-7
Jacksonville Jaguars19 0.1006.00.00.0 1-40-51-0-9
Kansas City Chiefs91 0.9000.00.00.0 4-15-09-0-1
Las Vegas Raiders64 0.6003.00.00.0 2-34-16-0-4
Denver Broncos46 0.4005.00.00.0 2-32-34-0-6
Los Angeles Chargers37 0.3006.00.00.0 2-31-43-0-7

National Football Conference

Philadelphia Eagles36 1.3330.00.00.0 2-21-43-1-6
New York Giants37 0.3000.50.00.0 2-31-43-0-7
Dallas Cowboys37 0.3000.50.00.0 2-31-43-0-7
Washington Football Team37 0.3000.50.00.0 3-30-43-0-7
Green Bay Packers73 0.7000.00.00.0 3-14-27-0-3
Chicago Bears55 0.5002.00.00.0 2-33-25-0-5
Minnesota Vikings46 0.4003.00.00.0 1-43-24-0-6
Detroit Lions46 0.4003.00.00.0 1-33-34-0-6
New Orleans Saints82 0.8000.00.00.0 5-13-18-0-2
Tampa Bay Buccaneers74 0.6361.50.00.0 3-24-27-0-3
Carolina Panthers47 0.3644.50.00.0 2-42-34-0-6
Atlanta Falcons37 0.3005.00.00.0 1-42-33-0-7
Seattle Seahawks73 0.7000.00.00.0 5-02-37-0-3
Los Angeles Rams73 0.7000.00.00.0 4-03-37-0-3
Arizona Cardinals64 0.6001.00.00.0 3-23-26-0-4
San Francisco 49ers46 0.4003.00.00.0 1-43-24-0-6

Last Injuries

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

  • Ali Marpet

    Ques Sun | questionable

    Marpet has sat out the past three games while going through the concussion protocol. It is unclear if he will be made available Sunday versus the Chiefs.

  • Jamel Dean

    Ques Sun | questionable

    Dean departed the last game to be evaluated for a concussion, and it is unknown if he will take the field against the Chiefs on Sunday.

  • Donovan Smith

    Ques Sun | questionable

    Smith exited the previous game with an ankle injury, and it is unclear if he will play Sunday against the Chiefs..

  • Jason Pierre-Paul

    Prob Sun | probable

    Pierre-Paul is expected to take on the Chiefs despite a knee injury.

  • Tanner Hudson

    Ques Sun | questionable

    Hudson missed his previous game due to a personal matter, and it is unclear if he will be available Sunday versus the Chiefs.

  • Jack Cichy

    Ques Sun | I-R

    Cichy has been assigned to the Injured Reserve/Designated for Return list with a hamstring injury. The team has two weeks to activate him.

  • Mike Edwards

    Prob Mon | probable

    Edwards is nursing a quad injury, but he is likely to face the Rams on Monday.

  • Jason Pierre-Paul

    Prob Mon | probable

    Pierre-Paul is bothered by a knee injury, but he is likely to dress for Monday's matchup against the Rams.

Carolina Panthers

  • John Miller

    Ques Sun | questionable

    Miller was held out of the previous game with a knee injury, and it is unknown if he will line up for Sunday's contest versus the Vikings.

  • Tahir Whitehead

    Prob Sun | probable

    Whitehead sat out the previous game with a rib injury, but he is projected to face the Vikings on Sunday.

  • Russell Okung

    Ques Sun | questionable

    Okung has sat out the past four games with a calf injury, and it is unclear if he will return for Sunday's tilt against the Vikings.

  • Dennis Daley

    Ques Sun | questionable

    Daley left the previous game to be evaluated for a concussion, and there is no indication if he will pass protocol in time for Sunday's matchup versus the Vikings.

  • Donte Jackson

    Ques Sun | questionable

    Jackson was absent from the lineup during the previous game due to turf toe, and it is undetermined if he will play against the Vikings on Sunday.

  • Sam Franklin

    Prob Sun | probable

    Franklin missed the last game due to an ankle injury, but it is expected that he will take on the Vikings on Sunday.

  • Teddy Bridgewater

    Prob Sun | probable

    Bridgewater sat out the previous game due to an MCL sprain in his right knee. It is expected that he will be available for Sunday's clash versus the Vikings.

  • Christian McCaffrey

    Out indefinitely | out

    McCaffrey is out of commission with an AC Joint injury in his shoulder, and a timetable for recovery has yet to be established.

Carolina Panthers vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tom Brady threw a touchdown pass and Leonard Fournette scored two touchdowns as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers defeated the visiting Carolina Panthers 31-17 on Sunday afternoon in Tampa, Fla.

It was the home opener and the first victory for Brady, a six-time Super Bowl winner, in a uniform other than the New England Patriots.

Brady, a week after receiving criticism from coach Bruce Arians, completed 23 of 35 passes for 217 yards with an interception. Fournette's 46-yard touchdown ramble with 1:48 to go put him at 103 rushing yards on 12 carries for the Buccaneers (1-1).

The Panthers (0-2) committed turnovers on their first two possessions under first-year coach Matt Rhule, whose team fell into a 21-0 hole.

Christian McCaffrey scored on second-half runs of 1 and 7 yards for Carolina. Teddy Bridgewater completed 33 of 42 passes for 367 yards with two interceptions.

Bridgewater's interception and fumble marked the first two Carolina turnovers.

Tampa Bay opened the scoring on a 7-yard run by Ronald Jones II. Then Brady connected with Mike Evans for a 23-yard touchdown play on the first snap following Bridgewater's lost fumble.

The Buccaneers scored their third touchdown following Carolina's failed fake punt in the second quarter. Fournette capped a 65-yard drive with a 1-yard run with 3:01 left in the half.

McCaffrey put the Panthers on the board with his first touchdown run at the 8:36 mark of the third quarter.

Carolina then converted on fourth-and-2 from the Tampa Bay 7 when McCaffrey took a pitchout and ran to the end zone with 13:25 remaining. McCaffrey injured an ankle on the play and didn't return.

The Buccaneers stretched their edge to 24-14 on Ryan Succop's 33-yard field goal with 6:18 left. That came a play after LeSean McCoy dropped a would-be touchdown pass in the end zone.

Joey Slye's 23-yard field goal with two minutes left cut the margin to 24-17, but the Panthers had only two timeouts left. Tampa Bay's Rob Gronkowski recovered Carolina's onside kick before Fournette's second touchdown run.

Tampa Bay played minus receiver Chris Godwin, who led the team in receiving yards in the opener but is in the concussion protocol. The Panthers were without veteran defensive tackle Kawann Short due to an ankle injury.

--Field Level Media