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Carolina Panthers vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers

1. It begins with the run: In current weeks, the Panthers’ working sport has reworked from stout to inconsistent. Carolina rushed for greater than 100 yards within the first three of 4 video games, however within the earlier three, have eclipsed 100 solely as soon as.
We've got the identical criticism of our offense,” Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter mentioned. “I do know (Panthers offensive coordinator) Mike Shula needs to determine the run, I do know that for a realitysimilar to we need to set up the run. That’s simpler mentioned than carried out. Working the soccer within the NFL will not be the simplest factor to do as a result of you must have methods to run it in opposition to eight- or nine-man bins. All of us have our other ways to try this, however it nonetheless doesn’t make it simple.”
Working the soccer has been much more tough for the Buccaneers, who rank 30th in rush offense (the Panthers rank 21st). Tampa does have a pair of proficient backs in Doug Martin and Jacquizz Rodgers.
2. Can Cam rebound? Whereas the Panthers’ working sport has been inconsistent, so has Cam Newton. The quarterback appeared rusty by the primary three video games after rehabbing his surgically repaired proper shoulder throughout the preseason. Towards the Patriots and Lions in Weeks four and 5, Newton regarded like is 2015 MVP self – throwing for greater than 300 yards and three touchdowns in every sport. However in his final two video games, he is thrown 5 interceptions.
Newton’s weekly efficiency is a measuring stick for the Panthers. In every of Carolina’s three loses, he’s completed with a passer score under 55.
“It doesn’t matter what he's doing the week prior, or the week earlier than that, or the week earlier than that – he's an MVP and that doesn’t go away,” Buccaneers defensive sort out Gerald McCoy mentioned. “He's that good and will be that good at any second, so we now have to be ready for it. He's a confidence man. He feeds off constructive vitality, so if the crew is rolling, he's going to get it going. We don’t need that to occur.”
3. Offensive firepower: Quarterback Jameis Winston doesn’t lack offensive weapons, and that is part of the rationale the Buccaneers lead the NFL in passing offense.
“We simply have numerous nice weapons,” Winston mentioned. “I believe we now have nice expertise. Everybody in our receiver room, our tight finish room and our working again room, we now have numerous expertise in each side of our offense.”
Winston spreads the ball effectively. Whereas large receiver Mike Evans leads the Buccaneers in receiving with 459 yards, tight finish Cameron Brate has caught a landing in 4 of the final 5 video games. With Brate coated up in opposition to the Payments, rookie tight finish O.J. Howard broke out with two touchdowns and 98 yards in Tampa Bay’s loss final Sunday. 

4. Kicking conundrum: The Buccaneers’ kicking points have been properly documented over the previous few years. Just lately, Tampa Bay minimize veteran kicker Nick People, who missed all three of his subject aim makes an attempt in a 19-14 loss to the New England Patriots in Week 5. That opened the kicking job for Patrick Murray, who's 2-for-2 by two video games.
Most famously, the Buccaneers spent a second-round choose on kicker Roberto Aguayo within the 2016 draft. His tenure in Tampa Bay was short-lived as he made simply 71 p.c of his subject targets as a rookie. Aguayo is now a Panther after signing to the apply squad this week.
Whereas Graham Gano is anticipated to kick this weekend in opposition to Tampa Bay, he did floor has been on the harm report for 2 weeks now with a proper knee harm and missed apply Friday with an sickness.
5. Black jerseysThe Panthers don’t usually put on black jerseys when enjoying the Buccaneers on the street as a consequence of often-scorching temperatures. In truth, within the franchise’s historical past, Carolina has solely worn black jerseys twice earlier than in Tampa Bay. The Panthers are 1-1 in these video games.
Nevertheless, this weekend the anticipated forecast is partly cloudy with a excessive of 68 levels. The situations current an optimum alternative for Carolina to don their black jerseys for the primary time this season.
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