Saturday, October 11, 2008

Panthers-Bucs pregame thoughts, prediction

NOTE to all readers: I will be covering Sunday's Panthers-Bucs game along with our two fine Carolina beat writers -- Charles Chandler and David Scott. We will all be blogging LIVE during and after the game, so check both this "Scott Says" blog and the "Inside the Panthers" blog on frequently on Sunday for updates.

Now, here are my pregame thoughts that will also be published in Sunday morning's Observer....

** After outscoring their last two opponents 58-9, the Panthers will face a far stronger opponent Sunday in Tampa Bay. “I can’t wait,” Muhsin Muhammad said. “We can really create a little distance for ourselves if we win this one.”
Very true. Already in first place in the NFC South, the Panthers (4-1) could hold a two-game edge over Tampa (3-2) with a road win today. And I believe the Bucs will be Carolina’s most likely rival for the South crown this season. New Orleans doesn’t have a good enough defense. Atlanta, despite its impressive 3-2 start, lacks a bit in overall talent.

** Jake Delhomme has haunted Jon Gruden for years. Although Delhomme missed both of last year’s games with an injury, he is 7-1 overall as a starter for Carolina against the Bucs. Delhomme knows the Buc defense so well that he could list their two-deep without a blink. He’s very adept at spotting their weaknesses at the line of scrimmage and playing away from their strengths.

** Carolina’s defense is also playing very well – it is currently ranked No.4 in the NFL. This is the most positive sign for the Panthers this season, trumping even the re-emergence of Delhomme and Muhammad. A good defense means you never get blown out and so you always have a chance.

** With all that said, I think Tampa Bay is going to squeak this one out today. I like Earnest Graham. I like the way the Bucs are playing defense. I think Jeff Garcia is a “harder out” for Carolina than Brian Griese. It’s just a hunch, but I’ll predict:
Tampa Bay 17, Carolina 16.


alex said...

I like the way the Panther's defense is playing.

17 - 6 Panthers.

Anonymous said...

A question and a comment for ya Scott: What do you think about the Dolphins new look offense that everyone is so "wild" about, and has no one mentioned the fact that its being run by Dan Henning? I guess the boring, non-productive offense that got him canned here really was a product of Fox ball. Miami is winning with trickery and were still running the draw on 3rd and long. (Can't complain about 4-1 though)
Also I saw Mike Minter broadcasting for SportsCenter the other night, and he did really well. I've always thought of him as a very intelligent and articulate guy, I'm glad to see him get a shot in the media (much more so than Keyshawn).

Scott Fowler said...

Big Kountry (I heard the song "Big Country" on the radio today, coincidentally): It is ironic about Henning, isn't it? I always thought much of the criticism here of Henning was misplaced. That conservative streak was a total byproduct of what John Fox wanted. Henning did do the direct snaps here, too, winning a game with it once by doing it repeatedly with DeAngelo Williams. As for Minter, yes, nice to see a good guy do well. And if you missed my column on Minter's burgeoning career as a high school football coach, take a look at

Jeffrey said...

You are a retard move to TB and write for the clearwater monthly. You don't deserve the right to even talk about the cats with your dumb prediction.

Benjamin said...

jeffwey angwy.

Administrator said...

Hi Im Scott Fowler and I cant even use the basic features in PhotoShop to cover up the gray in my hair!

Transplant said...

This is the type of game the Panthers usually lose. We don't like being the favorite. I hope with can change that pattern in 2008.