After a disappointing performance in week one, the Buccaneers are 0-1 and face the Panthers at Raymond James Stadium. The Buccaneers will look to build on last week and claim the first win of the year against a division foe. I will give a quick look into the matchup and give my prediction for the game.
Breaking Down Carolina
After a subpar 2019 season, Carolina comes into this season with a new head coach Matt Ruhle. Joe Brady is the new offensive coordinator for the Panthers. Brady spent one season at Louisiana State University where he helped the overall number one pick of this year’s draft Joe Burrow win the Heisman trophy and a National Championship. During this off season the Panthers signed Teddy Bridgewater to become the starting quarterback. Bridgewater is no stranger to the division; he spent the last two years with the New Orleans Saints. He brings a veteran presence to the quarterback room of the Panthers. The workhorse of the offense is running back Christian McCaffrey, and everyone knows it. McCaffrey can line up anywhere on the field and be a gamebreaker.
New Defensive coordinator Phil Snow is a first-time coordinator on the NFL level but has coached at this level before. Snow worked with the Detroit Lions from 2005-2008. The defense for the Panthers is young but has a playmaker at every level. Kawann Short, Shaq Thompson, and Donte Jackson are major players returning for the team that looks to make improvement from last year’s season.
How The Game Plays Out
Going into week two, both teams are looking to improve on their performances from week one. The Buccaneers offense was not as explosive as most thought it would be. Bruce Arians has never been shy about calling out players about their performance on the field. Arians said on Monday that Tom Brady did not play with the grit and determination that he has played with in the past.
The Panthers struggled on the defensive side of the ball and must figure out how to stop the run. They gave up 133 yards of the total 372 given up on the ground in week one. The Buccaneers on the other hand only surrendered 82 yards rushing to the Saints.
Both offenses will present problems for the defenses. Brady is coming off a game that he threw two interceptions with one being returned for a touchdown. He will be looking to fix the mistakes made in week one and should be ultra-focused as the Buccaneers play at home for the first time this season. Injuries will also play a huge factor in this week’s game. The Buccaneers Chris Godwin was placed into the concussion protocol on Wednesday. His status for the game is unknown at this point. McCaffrey will be the focus of the Panthers offense. Bridgewater will look to get McCaffrey involved early and often. The Buccaneers defense will have to make sure someone knows where McCaffrey is at all times.
This game will be won in the trenches. The Panthers do not find a way to stop the run and allow Brady to get into a rhythm. Ronald Jones has his first 100-yard rushing game this season. The Bucs don’t allow Christian McCaffrey to run the ball and step up play action passes for Bridgewater. The Buccaneers fix the mistakes from week one and win by 10.
Final Score Buccaneers 24, Panthers 14