The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Carolina Panthers meet at Bank of America Stadium in Week 16. The Buccaneers are looking for a response after a horrid performance at home versus the New Orleans Saints.
In another sad display for Tom Brady against the Saints, he struggled considerably versus an opponent he always seems to have trouble with. Brady threw for 214 yards and 1 interception on 54.2% passing.
In his worst outing last year, Brady looked awful in New Orleans early on in the season. I wouldn’t read too far into his performance versus the Saints. He can’t figure out Sean Payton’s defense, and this wasn’t a one-off thing for Brady.
— ESPN (@espn) December 20, 2021
We all know what happened after that for the Buccaneers. The Buccaneers don’t look as sharp as during their Super Bowl run, and now they’re down Chris Godwin, but Brady has always had an issue with the Saints’ defense.
The Buccaneers regressed to 10-4 with the loss, though they still control the NFC South. Despite not looking in championship form, they benefit from playing in a bad division and are still closing in on a divisional championship.
Injuries and Covid are hitting pretty well every team across the NFL hard. The Buccaneers are dealing with their problems, but they can’t use that excuse. More than ever this season, depth is an important factor for teams.
Fortunately for the Buccaneers, they have the best quarterback in the business at making others around him better. The Panthers can’t allow Brady to get into a rhythm or it’s going to be goodnight early on.
Ladies and gentlemen, Cam Newton.
(This is a REAL pass from a former MVP quarterback) pic.twitter.com/j7ZBq776xJ
— Dan Fetes (@danfetes) December 19, 2021
Carolina is expected to start Cam Newton, with Sam Darnold expected to see time. I don’t know about that. Stick with one quarterback and allow them to operate.
The Panthers are coming off a 31-14 loss at Buffalo for their fourth straight loss. Since beating the Falcons on Halloween, 19-13, the Panthers have won just one game versus the Arizona Cardinals on November 14.
That was a big win for the Panthers, though the Cardinals had Colt McCoy starting a week after a monster win over the 49ers. You could argue that it was the Panthers taking advantage of a letdown. Head below for our free Buccaneers vs. Panthers pick on December 26, 2021.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Carolina Panthers Betting Odds and Team Statistics:
The following odds are courtesy of BetUS:
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||-10 (-105)||-460||Over 43 (-110)|
|Carolina Panthers||+10 (-115)||+360||Under 43 (-110)|
|Team Data||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||Carolina Panthers|
|Points Per Game||28.4||27.0|
|Points Against Per Game||29.3||19.4|
|Passing Yards Per Game||304.9||195.4|
|Rushing Yards Per Game||97.6||112.6|
Buccaneers vs. Panthers Prediction:
It is becoming increasingly difficult to say who is IN and OUT of lineups. Players that are counted as on the Covid list now could clear by Sunday. Conversely, guys that are fine could test positive before kick-off.
We do know some key players are going to be OUT for the Buccaneers and it has nothing to do with Covid. Chris Godwin, Mike Evans, and Leonard Fournette will be unavailable on Sunday.
The list also includes receiver Breshad Perriman, so the depth on their offense is a major problem going into Sunday. They are desperate enough for weapons that they gave Le’Veon Bell a contract.
Expect a heavy dose of carries to Ronald Jones in this one. It’s a great opportunity for Jones to show that he can be a feature back again.
With Giovani Bernard OUT as well, the Buccaneers need to go down the depth chart to Ke’Shawn Vaughn at running back. Expect the Buccaneers to stick to the ground against the Panthers.
Brady has Antonio Brown, Tyler Johnson, Scotty Miller, and Rob Gronkowski as his primary targets on Sunday. He can make it work, but just don’t expect the Buccaneers to go up and down the field, especially against a Panthers’ secondary that can play.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Carolina Panthers Betting Trends:
- 4-1 ATS in their previous five games
- 2-5 ATS in their previous seven games on the road
- UNDER is 5-0 in their previous five games after a loss
- UNDER is 5-0 in their previous five games versus a team with a losing record
- UNDER is 4-0 in their previous four games versus the NFC
- 0-4 ATS in their previous four games
- 2-6 ATS in their previous eight games versus the NFC
- UNDER is 4-1 in their previous five games as an underdog at Bank of America Stadium
- UNDER is 5-1 in thier previous six games after allowing more than 30 points
- UNDER is 9-1-1 in their previous 11 games in Week 16
The Panthers are second in the NFL with 178.8 yards allowed through the air per game. Believe it or not, the 5-9 Panthers have the second-best overall defense in the NFL. They have conceded 294.4 yards per game, so it isn’t the defense’s fault for their struggles.
If there’s a hole in their defense, the Panthers aren’t the best against the run. They’ve allowed 115.6 yards per game for 20th in the league. Without a full complement of weapons, don’t be surprised if the Bucs grind this one out on the ground.
Brady is still going to make plays at times, but hurrying up and airing it out isn’t going to be their game plan. Against an offense like the Panthers, that should work for the Bucs. Carolina has been a mess offensively, with 308.1 yards per game for 28th.
The Panthers are just 29th in the NFL with 195.4 passing yards per game. When the quarterback position consists of Cam Newton and Sam Darnold that’s to be expected. If the Panthers are going to run, it’s going to be tough against a tough Tampa defense.
The Bucs are third-best in the NFL with 89 yards against per game on the ground. The Buccaneers’ secondary can be beaten, though Carolina doesn’t have the personnel to do it. I’d point towards the UNDER in Charlotte in a low-scoring contest.