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Wednesday, Jun 20, 2018
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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

A look ahead: Panthers at Bucs

The winless Bucs face the surging Panthers at home Thursday night in front of a national TV audience on NFL Network. Here's a look at the matchup:

RECORDS: Bucs 0-6. Panthers 3-3.

REGULAR-SEASON SERIES: Panthers lead, 14-11.


LAST MEETING: The Bucs rallied from an 11-point deficit in the final six minutes to force overtime and won at Carolina 27-21 when Josh Freeman hit Dallas Clark with a 15-yard TD pass. Tampa Bay forged a 21-21 deadlock with only 12 seconds left in regulation as Freeman and Vincent Jackson connected on a 24-yard scoring pass. Doug Martin ran for 138 yards as the Bucs rolled up 25 first downs and 403 yards in Charlotte. Freeman completed 25 of 46 passes for 248 yards and three TDs but also threw an interception that Captain Munnerlyn returned 74 yards for a score. Cam Newton passed for 252 yards and ran for 40 yards, but the Panthers couldn't overcome 11 penalties.

NEED TO KNOW: Carolina comes into Raymond James Stadium with confidence, winning three of four after an 0-2 start. The Panthers rely on a physical, ground-oriented attack and an aggressive defense led by MLB Luke Kuechly and a formidable front four. Newton has completed 35 of 43 pass attempts in the past two weeks without an interception and TE Greg Olsen looms as a matchup problem for Tampa Bay.

The Bucs have dropped 11 of their past 12 games, including six in a row at home. Rookie QB Mike Glennon has kept his poise throughout three pro starts, but Carolina's defense is a cut above the Cardinals, Eagles or Falcons. WR Vincent Jackson seeks his third consecutive game with at least 100 receiving yards and two touchdowns. Defensively, second-year OLB Lavonte David has an opportunity to show the football nation why Bucs coaches consider him a rising star.

Stat comparison  



Total Offense

31st (297.8 ypg)

24th (327.5 ypg)

Rush Offense             

 20th (101.2 ypg)

 7th (130.2 ypg)

Pass  Offense            

29th (196.7 ypg)

 28th (197.3 ypg)

Total Defense             

13th (340.8 ypg)

3rd (302.2 ypg)

Rush  Defense            

5th (88.8 ypg)

4th (84.5 ypg)

Pass Defense  

18th (252.0 ypg)

 5th (217.7 ypg)

Pts Scored                  

31st (14.5 ppg)

16th (23.2 ppg)

Pts Allowed               

t13th (22.0 ppg)

 2nd (13.8 ppg)


t25th (14.0)    

 t13th (19.0)

Sacks Allowed           

t7th (14.0)      

 t17th (18.0)

TO Margin     

t15th (0)         

 t6th (+5)




Team Leaders           



Rushing yards            

Martin (456)     

Williams (434)

Passer rating               

Glennon (77.1)

 Newton (95.0)


Jackson (36)     

Smith (28)

Receiving yards         

Jackson (544)   

Olsen (339)


David (4.0)       

Hardy, Johnson (4.0)


Six with 1        

Mitchell (3)

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