Week 2 of the NFL season returns with yet another loaded slate of action. We will personally kick things off with an all-NFC South divisional clash as both the Panthers and Buccaneers will look to get back on track.
For Carolina last week, they did some good things at home vs. the Vegas Raiders, but ultimately fell short. While their offense showed well and kept the chains moving, it was their defense that couldn’t stop the run or pass. When the Panthers’ needed big stops, they simply weren’t getting them. That has to be troubling for new head coach Matt Rhule, as he prepares to take on a talented Buccaneers’ attack.
For Tampa Bay, Week 1 was also a bit of a downer. After scoring on their opening drive, Tom Brady really didn’t look all that great against the Saints. New Orleans’ defense is underrated league-wide, and they proved that last Sunday. Tampa was stagnant on offense, while their defense still showed some old flaws re-emerging. This is still a talented team, and one with legitimate playoff aspirations. If those are to come to fruition, they’ll need to punish a weakened Panthers opponent.
Are the Buccaneers good enough to do that? Continue reading on beneath the posted odds for added analysis, team news, and a betting prediction as we look to enter the green for NFL Week 2. Enjoy the games, folks!
Panthers vs. Buccaneers Betting Odds:
Carolina Panthers +8 (-105)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers -8 (-115)
Over 47 (-110)
Under 47 (-110)
*Betting odds provided by BetOnline.ag
Panthers vs. Buccaneers Pick:
You can only hope Tom Brady will get better as his time in Tampa Bay progresses, as last week he was pretty dreadful. Communication and timing was clearly off, but it’d be a tad premature to write off the great Tom Brady just yet.
We will learn a lot more about what he has left in the tank, as well as his new Bucs’ squad when they take the field on Sunday. The Panthers are a team that they should easily dispose off given the talent disparity, and even without Chris Godwin – the Bucs definitely have enough skill to exploit Carolina’s terrible secondary.
On the ground, Tampa Bay should also be able to punish the Panthers with a dual-pronged attack of Leonard Fournette and Ronald Jones. Carolina boasted the worst run defense in the entire NFL last season, and since losing Luke Kuechly they have looked lost in every facet. Look for the Bucs to put up some points on Sunday.
While the Saints got their points last week on Tampa Bay, the Bucs did ‘limit’ them to 27 points, which can be considered a win when taking on New Orleans. The adjustments they’ve made seem to be working out well thus far, and they should be a very difficult matchup for Carolina.
The Bucs can also bring immense pressure from the defensive line. Without adequate protection for Bridgewater, it’s going to really force him to make plays occur – both with his feet and through the air. While Bridgewater has been decent of late, the jury is still very much out on many aspects. Expect the Panthers to have trouble moving the chains in Week 2.
This is going to be a blowout, and expect Tampa Bay to unleash all of last week’s frustrations on a hopeless Carolina team. The Panthers match-up terribly with what the Bucs do well, and with some key injuries on their defensive line, Tom Brady will have all kinds of time and space in the pocket to hit targets downfield. It’s a big number, but look for the Bucs to cover with ease on Sunday.