Friday, September 17, 2010

My Panthers-Bucs prediction

Some thoughts on Sunday's Panthers-Bucs game and my prediction:

-- The Panther offense will have two primary plays Sunday -- the handoff and the pitchout.

In the past three games these two teams have played, Carolina has rushed for a staggering 241-yards-per-game average. No surprise that the Panthers have won all three of those.

“Double Trouble” wasn’t much trouble for the New York Giants to handle last week, however, in part because the Panthers went away from the run too early. They better not make that mistake Sunday. Although the Buccaneers have improved their defensive front, that’s still how Carolina can beat them.

-- I wrote my column for today's newspaper about Greg Hardy, who had two big-time plays in his NFL debut last Sunday. Somebody -- Hardy, Everette Brown, Tyler Brayton or Charles Johnson -- needs to get to Tampa Bay QB Josh Freeman Sunday. Freeman is a tough guy (playing through a broken thumb) and very mobile. Carolina didn't have a sack from its D-line last week.

-- Aqib Talib, the Bucs’ best cornerback, returns Sunday after a one-game suspension for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy. That will help a Tampa Bay defense that has sometimes struggled in the past to cover Steve Smith. Look for Talib to shadow Smith for much of the game, and for that
matchup to determine much of how Carolina’s passing game goes.

-- The bottom line is that Carolina should win this one. The Panthers don’t have an obvious talent edge against 80-90 percent of the teams they play, but they do Sunday. If you’re not going to beat a Tampa Bay team at home that was 3-13 last season, then what game are you going to win?

-- I’m 1-0 predicting the Panthers so far this year. This week’s pick: Carolina 23, Tampa Bay 13.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

carolina will shut the hater up sunday with a big win 35 to 10

Anonymous said...

If we go 0-2 and Tampa is 2-0 I am picketing at the stadium.

Anonymous said...

If the Panthers don't win this game, it's going to be a loooooooonnngg season.

Mak said...

Hardy should start

darin is an idiot said...

Bucs 34
panthers 7

Anonymous said...

Ugh. I'm sick of hearing "if you can't beat the Bucs then who can you beat?"

Tampa Bay doesn't suck; it's a talented young team that has addressed many of its deficiencies of the past two years.

In 2008, the Bucs were a crumbling team of decrepit veterans. A year later, they were rudderless youngsters.

Now:

In Josh Freeman, the Bucs have a tough, young quarterback who has proven he can play in the clutch.

The wide receivers are a dynamic, youthful bunch with a budding superstar in Mike Williams, solid talent (Arrelious Benn), burning speed (Micheal Spurlock), a Wes Welker-type (Sammie Stroughter) and size (Maurice Stovall).

Cadillac Williams is back to running his hard-nosed best, while Kareem Huggins appears to have enough spark to be a nice change-of-pace back. Earnest Graham, meanwhile, provides multiple options out of the backfield. And ... LeGarrette Blount?

Kellen Winslow leads a talented tight end group.

The offensive line is a head-scratcher, though. Penn, Vincent/Zuttah, Faine, Joseph, Trublood seem like a good bunch on paper, and they no doubt have talent as individuals. What gives? Maybe it's scheme. Jell, dang it, jeeeeellll.

Then on d ...

Have fun trying to blow Gerald McCoy, Brian Price and Roy Miller four yards off the ball like you did to Sims and Hovan. Egh. The last three meetings give me the shudders. But it's a new day!

The ends need to be upgraded, but in the second half they looked OK in Week 1.

Barrett Ruud, Quincy Black and Geno Hayes make up an emerging linebacker corps that is taking it to the next level.

Talib is on his way to being a Pro-Bowler, Ronde Barber has some gas left in the tank and behind him, E.J. Biggers and Myron Lewis will be ready to roll when he's done.

At safety, Tanard Jackson is a big hitter and Sean Jones picks up the slack for god-awful Sabby Piscatelli.

Have fun picking up the pieces of your shattered season when you go 0-5.

The Peter Kings of the world are going to look like buffoons for picking you guys for the playoffs.

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Poker Star said...

@carolina will shut the hater up sunday with a big win 35 to 10

I hope you are right :)
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