Buc Up!…for Carolina after a Stinker – NOVEMBER 14
By Rob Kriete

-The NFL continues to shred defenses in 2020.  With 6737 total points scored through Week 9, NFL teams are breaking point records each week.  The Chiefs lead the league with 286 points with the Buccaneers contributing 250 points this season so far.  The Carolina Panthers have scored 210 points this season.

As is the usual now, our Leo Haggerty got to chat the coach of the Head Coach of the Bucs.  Talking to Bruce Arians, Leo had this exchange:

Leo: “When you’re playing a divisional opponent like Carolina, is there an advantage in the second game if you won the first game?”

Bruce: “I don’t know if there’s that big of an advantage. Obviously, you should have confidence. I think the other team usually has vengeance on their mind. Going into the game, I think the team that won the first one has a little more confidence going into the second one. A lot of times home-field advantage matters on the second one.  Not this year because of no crowds. This year’s different on everything. I think maybe you do when you win.”

-The Carolina Panthers come to town this week with a 3 – 6 record and without star RB, Christian McCaffery.  Regardless, the Panthers have been playing hard in every game under new Head Coach, Matt Ruhle.

-Carolina QB, Teddy Bridgewater, passed for 310 yards with 2 TDs thrown and ran for one last week. In Week 2 against Tampa, Bridgewater threw for 367 yards and aims for his 3rd start in row with 300+ pass yards versus Tampa.  Teddy ranks 3rd in NFC in pass yards (2,416). So, the Bucs will be challenged.

-But, Bucs LB, Devin White, led the team with 14 tackles last week and had a career-high 15 tackles in their previous matchup with Carolina.

-The Carolina Panthers lead all-time series, 24-16.  Wow!  However, the Buccaneers have won 3 of past 4 contests.

-This week’s matchup is not a pushover.  The Carolina Panthers are responding well to Matt Rhule and are led offensively by the veteran Bridgewater.  With McCaffery out for the game, the Bucs can game plan against the passing attack.  The Bucs surely want to establish their identity as a veritable playoff team this weekend and I expect them to come out on all cylinders for the game.

-Prediction of the Week:      Bucs 36 Panthers 28