Buccaneers vs. Panthers Week 2 Betting OddsLine: Panthers -6.5
Two 0-1 teams will enter this week two Thursday Night Football matchup as the 0-1 Tampa Bay Buccaneers head into Carolina to face the 0-1 Panthers. Neither team was projected to be a playoff team prior to week one and their performances in week 1 did nothing to change that perspective. The Panthers kept the game closeout throughout in an eventual 30-27 loss to the Los Angeles Rams, however the score is not indicative of the type of game it was. It was a rough day for star quarterback Cam Newton who was playing in his first game since a shoulder injury on December 17th forced him to the sideline. He was 25-38 for 239 yards passing without a passing touchdown. He made a costly mistake late throwing a backwards pass that ultimately resulted in a Rams touchdown. He also threw an interception at the 5:55 mark of the 4th quarter and the traditionally mobile quarterback rushed for a career low -2 yards. He did not complete a pass over 17 yards and that will lead to immediate speculation on his arm strength coming off of the injury. Running back Christian Mccaffrey was the star of the day for the Panthers, racking up 209 yards from scrimmage and two touchdowns on 29 touches, picking up where he left off last season. He is in line for a huge season and is by far the biggest weapon in the Panthers offense. Tampa Bay heads into the season without much expectation however the addition of new head Coach Bruce Arians did provide the team with some optimism headed into week one. All of that optimism was wiped away rather quickly after a dismal performance from quarterback Jameis Winston in the Buc’s 31-17 loss to the San Francisco 49ers. Winston threw for 194 yards to become Tampa Bay's career passing leader, including a 10-yard scoring pass to Chris Goodwin that trimmed a double-digit deficit to 20-14 late in the third quarter. Ultimately, though, the Bucs could not overcome the fifth-year quarterback's mistakes and dropped their debut under Arians, who was lured out of retirement after Tampa Bay finished 5-11 last season and missed the playoffs for the 11th straight year. Its too early to panic but if the proven quarterback guru Arians cannot get the best out of Winston then his days as a starting quarterback in the NFL may be numbered. The defense did hold the 49ers to two first half field goals however they weren’t as fortunate in the second half as they gave up 25 points. Thursday nights matchup is an extremely important game for both teams. Without a roster that jumps off the page it is likely that either one of these teams will not be able to rebound from an 0-2 start. On the other hand a win on Thursday brings the team back to 500 and will allow for some optimism headed into week 3. Both quarterbacks are former #1 overall picks and find themselves at a crossroads. This game could go a long way into turning their careers and the teams season around
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