Week one of the regular season is over for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and quickly the team has to turn around and fix its issues before taking on the Carolina Panthers on Thursday Night Football. Coming into week two the Buccaneers take on division rivals with the storyline of a revenge game for one time Buccaneer and jilted player Gerald McCoy.
McCoy looks for Revenge
This storyline will dominate the reporting prior to kick off Thursday. Cameras will be will follow him during warm-ups, almost every question he gets will revolve around exacting vengeance and though he may not show it, he will be pumped for this game.
So how effective will he be? Given his performance in week one, one total tackle, he may not get the satisfaction he seeks. Though he knows this offensive line well, they also know his play equally. Ron Rivera will move him around in hopes of getting him free. This week will certainly be a chess match.
The target of McCoy’s aggression will be Jameis Winston. Disrupting Winston and applying pressure on him will dictate the way this game turns out. To the disappointment of Buccaneers fans in week one, Winston had way too many turnovers that created an insurmountable gap in points. Most notably two interceptions for touchdowns. After reviewing tape I think Winston got away with more than the stat line indicates. He easily could have had five interceptions. His vision and timing are off. Bruce Arians will have a short week to teach the young gun how not to make more of the same mistakes. I am confident in Arian’s skills but it will take some time. Winston will throw an interception this game. I would bet on it.
If he can keep it one the Buccaneers can win this game.
Contain, contain, contain. Beating the Panthers is not about stopping McCaffrey. It’s about minimizing his impact. He will get carries and catch passes. McCaffrey will gain yards. The runningback will most likely have a touchdown in the stat line. The Buccaneers improved defensive will be on center stage as they attempt to keep McCaffrey from having a big day. Anything can happen in division rival games. McCaffrey posted over 125 yards and two touchdowns in week one coupled with 10 receptions on 11 targets. The defense will have their hands full.
The Most Important Panther not Named McCaffrey
There are rumblings going around that Cam Newton’s shoulder is still not 100% and he can’t throw the deep ball. He brushed off questions about it after the game. On top of that, he didn’t rush in any effective manner. Newton does not loo like “Super Cam” and if speculation is true then is ineffectiveness to be the player he was, greatly hinders the Panthers offense. This will be a telling game for Newton and the rest of his season.
Healthy Newton, dangerous Panthers.
Unhealthy Newton, a big question mark.
I was doused in flames after week one. Winston failed to beat the turnover battle and the Buccaneers gave away a game they should have won. This game I believe comes down to the true health of Cam Newton and Winstons battle with turnovers.
Winston with one interception or less: Buccaneers win 27-21.
Winston with two or more interceptions: Buccaneers lose 24-17.
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