After a disappointing start to the season, the Buccaneers are trying to bounce back in Carolina on Thursday Night Football. The Panthers also lost their first game, against the Los Angeles Rams. Expect a sloppy contest, once again, as both teams only have three days of rest.
Key to the game: Containing Christian McCaffrey
Carolina’s running back Christian McCaffrey continued where he left off last season. He averaged an outstanding 6.7 yards per carry and totaled 128 yards on the ground. Moreover, he added two touchdowns and 10 receptions for another 81 yards. Rookie Devin White will have his hands full trying to keep McCaffrey in check. This will be a tough task for White. However, it is also a great chance for him to prove he was worthy of the 5th overall selection in the draft. Look for McCaffrey to still have a decent game. He will not be allowed to run all over the Bucs, however, like he did last year. If Tampa Bay finds a way to contain him, the Bucs will win this game.
Both quarterbacks trying to bounce back
Cam Newton, like Jameis Winston, struggled in week 1. He had no touchdown, one interception and he also lost a fumble. Jameis Winston took the blame for the Bucs’ loss from multiple NFL experts, and rightfully so. Even though he is not solely to blame, of course. Obviously, both quarterbacks are trying to get on track in week 2, which is somewhat of a must-win game already for both teams.
Bucs will face Gerald McCoy
For the first time ever the Buccaneers will play against Gerald McCoy, who is likely going to lineup against Alex Cappa. McCoy will play with a chip on his shoulder and will make life tough against Cappa. McCoy only had a single tackle against the Rams, look for him to have a huge game against the Bucs.
Conclusion: Panthers win
Winston and the offense will struggle again. He needs Mike Evans to be fully healthy in order to have a chance to win this tough road game. Winston will have two turnovers and two passing touchdowns. The defense will be decent against Cam Newton and McCaffrey, as well. It will not be enough to get away with a win, though. Eventually, the Bucs fall to the Panthers in a close game.
Photo credit: NFL.com