Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Panthers to beat Bucs Thursday night

The Carolina Panthers continue their tour of the NFL's worst teams on Thursday night (kickoff 8:25 pm) -- a fortuitous bit of scheduling that could only be luckier if the Panthers next played Jacksonville.

Alas, they don't have the Jaguars on their schedule. But there are only three other NFL teams at the moment who have won one game or less in 2013. The Panthers have already played two of them -- the New York Giants and Minnesota -- and they get Tampa Bay twice, starting Thursday night (with rookie quarterback Mike Glennon, pictured above).

So this should be easy, right? The Buccaneers are 0-6. Carolina is 3-3, but has won three of its last four and has one of the NFL's top defenses.

Well, no. I don't think it will be that easy.

The Bucs are going to beat somebody this season -- the Panthers just can't let it be them. Tampa Bay has a few things going for it, including Glennon and wide receiver Vincent Jackson.

Glennon threw at Jackson 22 times last week and 14 the week before. Four of those throws went for touchdowns.

If the Panthers don't double Jackson on most every play Thursday night, they are nuts. Jackson, if you remember, was also the guy who made the great touchdown catch that helped the Bucs come back from 11 points down in the final 4:03 in 2012 in Charlotte to tie the game in regulation and win it in overtime.

-- When Carolina runs plays inside the Tampa Bay 5, don't be surprised to see a fake to Mike Tolbert and then a play-action pass. Tampa Bay has proved its mettle on goal-line run defense. The Bucs have only given up one rushing TD all season, tied for the best in the NFL with Baltimore.

-- I've been to almost all of the NFL stadiums and I can tell you that Tampa Bay's homefield "advantage" is among the league's absolute worst at the moment. Tampa Bay coach Greg Schiano is only 3-8 at home, although one of those wins was against Carolina in 2012 (the Bucs swept the Panthers last year).

-- When you watch the NFL Network telecast Thursday, see what you think about TV analyst Mike Mayock. He's wordy, but I like him -- his depth and breadth of knowledge about the sport is impressive.

-- Tampa Bay rookie quarterback Mike Glennon basically does two things when he drops back -- he either throws the ball to Jackson or he dumps it short. There are a whole lot of quick checkdowns in the former N.C. State quarterback's repertoire, and there will be a few chances for the Panthers in pass coverage to jump one of those routes and grab an interception.

-- I've correctly predicted the Panthers' outcome four weeks in a row. To go for five straight, my pick is: Carolina 30, Tampa Bay 17.


Anonymous said...

Bucs have a good defense so I predict 23-17 Panthers. Panthers may have problems running against this team, but need to stick with what they've done in the last 2 wins.... that is running with complimentary passing to keep 'em off balance. When Cam is flustered by sacks, that's when problems arise.

Anonymous said...

Going to the game tonight but I can't help to think of the saying... Any team can win on any given Sunday..... Go Panthers

Anonymous said...

It would be very embarrassing if the Panthers gave the Bucs their first win. Have to take them seriously and take care of business. However the offense goes, their team goes. D will always be solid. Just need to avoid performances like the one in Arizona, or the upset can happen.

Anonymous said...

Mayock is an idiot. Before the 2011 draft re Cam Newton:

"It's just this gut feeling I have that I don't know how great he wants to be. "

"What it really comes down to .. is football IQ and work ethic. And if he wants to be the best quarterback in the game, I'm all in. I love it.

"But something tells me that he'll be content to be a multi-millionaire who's pretty good. And that doesn't get it done for me."

"I think the kid is smart enough. I just don't know if he cares enough."

So, yes he was right on. Yeah, Cam gets all down and sullen when the Panthers lose because he is just happy to have a lot of money and doesnt really want to be great. (Sarcasm)

Anonymous said...

First off, tonight is not Sunday.

And what game are you going to tonight--the World Series? Odd that you would mention that here; the Panthers aren't playing tonight!

deepenwide said...

Scott you may have picked the Panthers outcome 4 weeks in a row but I don't think that offense is going to score 17 pts on our defense. I say we give up 6-10 pts at the most.

Anonymous said...

The Panthers defense will score at least 2 touch downs and the offense will add 2 scores and special teams will add 1. My predication no one wants to play for Schiano final 35-7!

Anonymous said...

Panthers won't be playing Sunday night either it's on Thursday.

John said...

Anonymous 2:31PM, you are both off... this is a Thursday night game which is TOMORROW.

Hawaiian Bob said...

I fear the hype of the foregone conclusion. This is exactly the kind of game the Panthers are known to lose. I hope that a win tonight will signal an end to those days.

Anonymous said...

Wow the Panthers have beat teams with a combined record of 5-15! and were .500 1st time since 2008! ,so If the team loses to the Bucs It's time to clean house ,but the worst thing will be If this team get's to 7-9 or 8-8 ,and I hope Gettleman cleans house as since Cam has been the QB I don't think they have only beaten 1 playoff team being the Falcons last year!