The Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-3) suffered an embarrassing loss last week to the New Orleans Saints and will have to turn the page quickly as they travel to Carolina to battle the Panthers (3-6). The Bucs beat Carolina in Week Two and will look for the sweep of their division rival for the first time since 2016.
Much like the rest of the team, Tom Brady didn’t have a great day against the Saints, tossing three interceptions in the loss. However, in games immediately following a loss of 20+ points, Brady has thrown 19 touchdowns and just three interceptions and his team went 7-1 according to Greg Auman of The Athletic.
The Dominating Buccaneers Defense Should Do Well Against The Panthers
Despite the poor outing against the Saints, the Bucs still sport one of the league’s best defenses. Currently, they allow just 78 yards a game on the ground which is best in the league. With Christian McCaffrey expected to miss the game, the Bucs should have their way against the Panthers’ running attack. Running back Mike Davis will probably see some action now that McCaffrey is out. He has rushed for 353 yards and two touchdowns, averaging 4.2 yards per carry.
In addition, the Bucs lead the league in takeaways with (16) and are second in the league in sacks. In the Bucs Week 2 win over the Panthers, Tampa had five sacks and won the turnover battle. Teddy Bridgewater will have his hands full without his star running back behind him. The former Viking and Saint has seven turnovers, six interceptions and one fumble, on the year. He has also been sacked 18 times on the year.
What Will Antonio Brown Do For an Encore?
Head Coach Bruce Arians doesn’t expect to see Antonio Brown as often in his second game with the Bucs like he was last week against the Saints. He told Buccaneers.com this week.
“His pitch count was a little higher than we anticipated. But we tried to go two-minute early in the ballgame just to get some life, so his pitch count was up a bit.”
If they do scale back Browns’ targets this week against Carolina, Brady will have to re-engage with the likes of Scotty Miller. Brown didn’t have a terrible debut. In fact, at times, he looks quite fresh and in sync with Brady but becoming one dimensional too early as the Bucs did against the Saints is a recipe for disaster. This is a game the Bucs should win if they return to the style of play we saw the prior few weeks, particularly on offense. Expect the running game to be solid with Leonard Fournette was a big part of the Bucs Week Two win over the Panthers.
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