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Tampa Bay Bucs -9.5 (-110)
|Panthers vs Buccaneers Information
|Carolina Panthers vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers
|Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, FL
|Sunday, September 20, 2020; 1:00 PM ET
|How to watch
In 2020, the Carolina Panthers are going with QB Teddy Bridgewater under center, and they came within five points of winning their Week 1 matchup against the Raiders, the now healthy hurler posting 22 completions for 270 passing yards and a touchdown with zero picks in the game.
This will be the second NFC South matchup for Tom Brady and his Buccaneers, so expect him to figure out whatever wrinkles caused his two interceptions and the loss in Week 1 and use his highly talented roster to pick apart the Panthers for his new team’s first 2020 win.
The Panthers and Buccaneers have matched up 39 total times, with the Bucs winning 15 of those games and the Panthers winning 24 of them, each getting a win from the other in 2019.
Bridgewater was an incredible talent as a QB starter before his unfortunate injuries caused him to miss full seasons of playing time and eventually to become relegated to the backup role in New Orleans.
Under Panther’s new head coach Matt Rhule and offensive coordinator Joe Brady, Bridgewater hopes to find his old rhythm under center in Carolina and begin the second part of his incredible NFL career.
Helping him out of the Panther backfield is dual-threat running back Christian McCaffrey, arguably one of the league’s best at his position, so if Bridgewater hopes to create some wins in Carolina, he best gets on the same page with McCaffrey as soon as possible.
Forget his age, 43, the question is whether Brady can jump into a talent pool as deep as Tampa Bay’s and use his football IQ, precision passing, and ability to get rid of the ball quickly to finally get this team to the postseason.
Week 1 was a loss, but it was also an incredible opportunity for Brady to learn and absorb the level of talent he now has at his disposal in Tampa Bay, and that targets like Chris Godwin, Mike Evans, and tight end O.J. Howard and Rob Gronkowski, so it’s only a matter of time before the GOAT gets going.
The Panthers are counting on these three rookie starters to be immediately effective:
Defensive end Derrick Brown – in his four seasons playing in the SEC for Auburn, Brown posted 12.5 sacks, 5 forced fumbles, 4 fumble recoveries, 8 passes defended, and 170 tackles, with 33 of those for a loss.
Linebacker Jeremy Chinn – Chinn played his college football at Southern Illinois from 2016 thru 2019 and runs the 40-yard dash in 4.45 seconds with a 41-inch vertical leap.
Cornerback Troy Pride Jr. – in his four seasons at Notre Dame, Pride posted 4 interceptions, 18 passes defended, a forced fumble, 2 fumble recoveries, and 121 total tackles.
Never easy for a rookie lineman to be effective their first season, but that’s exactly what Bucs head coach Bruce Arians expects from a first-year offensive tackle and former Iowa Hawkeye Tristan Wirfs.
The Buccaneers are counting on Wirfs and left tackle Donovan Smith to keep QB Tom Brady safe from both sides, something the line failed to do three times in Week 1, the GOAT getting sacked thricely.
Wirfs is 6’ 5” and 320 pounds but still runs a 4.48-second 40-yard dash and has a 36.5-inch vertical leap, so he has the size and quickness to get the job done at the NFL level.
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Mike Lukas is a retired standup comedian turned freelance writer now living in Dallas, Texas, originally from Cleveland, Ohio. His love for the game of football and all things Cleveland Browns turned Mike into a pro blogger years ago. Now Mike enjoys writing about all thirty-two NFL teams, hoping to help football gamblers gain a slight edge in their pursuit of the perfect wager. Email: [email protected]More info on Mike Lukas
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