Sunday Afternoon – Carolina Panthers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
This NFC South matchup might not appear too tantalizing on the surface, but it will surely be a good one. Both teams will be battling for the division crown once again and these head to head matchups always have a major impact on the divisional race. You simply can’t afford to lose your home games to opponents within the division. Carolina will be trying to steal one on the road to get a leg up on the competition as they try to get back to the top of the league.
Keys to the Game
The best thing for Carolina to do on Sunday afternoon is to keep the ball out of Jameis WInston’s hands. He’s a proven winner and while he may be young, he’s more than good enough to cut that Carolina secondary to shreds. The best way to counteract that is to keep the ball in Cam Newton’s hands and let him wear out the Tampa Bay defense. Slow and steady will win this race for the Panthers, but a deep strike or two to Ted Ginn wouldn’t hurt, either. They just can’t let Winston control this one or they’ll be playing catch-up all afternoon.
Sling the rock. The Panthers were exposed through the air big time in 2016 without Josh Norman to hold things down. Not much changed over the offseason. The Bucs should let Winston do his thing and spread the ball around through the air on a quest to drop 50 points on the Panthers. I don’t think the Carolina offense will be able to keep up with the likes of Winston and superhuman receiver Mike Evans, but they’re welcome to try.