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Carolina Panthers vs Tamba Bay Buccaneers - NFL Week 2
September 20, 2020
1:00 PM ET
Raymond James Stadium
About the Panthers
After a questionable call from offensive coordinator Joe Brady to run the ball with FB Alex Armah instead of giving All-Pro RB Christian McCaffrey, the Panthers lose a close game to the Las Vegas Raiders 34-30. The failed attempt cost the Panthers a potential victory as they were in Raiders territory with a little over a minute left in the game. Other than that debacle of a play, QB Teddy Bridgewater played well throwing for 270 yards and a TD. McCaffrey was his usual brilliant self with 96 yards rushing and 2 TDs. He also had 3 catches for 38 yards. WR Robbie Anderson was also a major contributor with 6 catches, 115 yards, and a TD. The Panthers defense had issues stopping the run against the Raiders, but the Bucs are having issues on their offensive line and only had 86 yards rushing last week against the Saints. LB’s Shaq Thompson and Tahir Whitehead as well as DE Brian Burns will have to generate some pressure against QB Tom Brady and not allow him to get comfortable in the pocket.
About the Buccaneers: QB Tom Brady lost his duel to division rival Drew Brees in the 1st matchup between 40-year-old QB’s in the history of the NFL. Brady had a rough game against the Saints defense throwing multiple interceptions in a season opener for the 1st time since 2003. Brady made a lot of bad decisions and questionable throws that plagued him and cost the Bucs in the end. LT Donovan Smith struggled against DE Cameron Jordan in pass protection as he brought the pressure all day long. Smith must solidify that side of the offensive line and protect Brady’s blindside in order for him to have a clean pocket. WR Mike Evans was a game-time decision with a hamstring issue but decided to play. It was evident that Evans was playing through pain and it showed on the stat sheet as he only had an uncharacteristic 1 catch for 2 yards but his lone catch resulted in a TD. WR Chris Godwin left the game with an apparent head injury and is status for Sunday’s game is unknown. The Bucs come into Week 2 with the #6 ranked defense in the league. The Bucs offense can help their defense by establishing the run with RB’s Ronald Jones and Leonard Fournette gaining big yardage while milking the clock and allowing the Panthers fewer possessions.
Players to Watch
Christian McCaffrey (Panthers): One of the most exciting players in the NFL, McCaffrey has 100-plus scrimmage yards and 2-plus TD’s in a game for the 10th time since 2018 which is the most in the NFL in that span.
Scotty Miller (Buccaneers): Brady has a habit of turning lesser-known players into popular players. It looks like he might do the same for Miller as he had 5 catches for 73 yards on 6 targets.
Yatur Gross-Matos (Panthers): A very strong and powerful player with good flexibility who has the potential to develop into a good pass rusher.
Antoine Winfield Jr. (Buccaneers): An impressive player with good bloodlines who can hold up deep, drop down to cover slot receivers, and fill in against the run. He will be the last line of defense if McCaffrey breaks loose.
QB Tom Brady is 3-12 when trailing at halftime over the past 4 seasons including the playoffs.
Brady takes his frustrations out on a young and inexperienced Panthers defense as he spreads the ball around and utilizes all his weapons. Bridgewater tries to keep the Panthers in the game but his efforts won’t be enough to overcome the Bucs pass rush.
Final Score: Panthers 24 / Buccaneers 35