The 1-3 Tampa Bay Buccaneers travel to North Carolina to take on the 1-3 Panthers with both teams coming off bad losses. Tampa Bay lost at home last week by the score of 27-7 to the Denver Broncos. For the Buccaneers, this was their third loss in a row after a season opening victory over. Carolina suffered a 48-33 loss on the road to the Atlanta Falcons. To add injury to insult, Cam Newton left the game in the 4th quarter after suffering a concussion and his status for this game is still uncertain.
Tampa Bay’s offense was shut out for the final 3 quarters against Denver and had only 251 yards of total offense. Jameis Winston finished with a quarterback rating of 42.7 as he completed 17 of his 35 passes for 179 yards with 0 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. He now has 8 interceptions to go with his 8 touchdowns on the season. As a team, they had 3 turnovers in total with only 1 offensive play going for more than 20 yards. Winston’s favorite target was Cameron Brate who had 5 receptions for 67 yards. They struggled to run the ball as Charles Sims led the team with 28 of the teams 76 rushing yards on 15 carries. Defensively, they did a good job against the run allowing 89 yards on 32 carries. They did not force a turnover but did have 1 sack and 6 tackles for losses.
The Panthers defense allowed the Falcons to set 2 team records as Matt Ryan and Julio Jones both had career games. Ryan completed over 70% of his passes while throwing for 503 yards as Jones had 300 of them. They did have 1 interception and sacked Ryan 3 times for a loss of 22 yards. Derek Anderson would be the replacement if Cam Newton doesn’t play. He sparked the offense as the team scored 23 of its 33 points in the 4th quarter. He finished 17 for 23 for 172 yards, 2 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. Nine different Carolina receivers had receptions led by Fozzy Whitaker who had 9 catches for 86 yards. They struggled with the run, as they were only able to gain 49 yards on 15 carries.
Tampa Bay has gone 1-3 so far against the spread including 1-1 on the road. Carolina is 1-2-1 against the spread including 1-1 at home. The Panthers are favored by a touchdown in this game and will have the benefit of home field advantage. These 2 teams met twice last year with the Panthers winning a combined 42 points. Tampa Bay has lost by an average of 19 points over this 3 game losing streak while failing to score more than 7 points in two of those games. Carolina has given up 70 points in the last 2 games and are still not sure whether Cam Newton will be given the clearance to play in this game.
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