Photo Courtesy of Ronnie Lane / WDAE
Each week, our own Ronnie Lane will share his thoughts on the upcoming Tampa Bay Buccaneers game. This week, Lane dives into the second Bucs-Panthers matchup of the season from Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, which can be heard locally on WDAE 620am/95.3fm and WFUS 103.5fm, with the Auto Owners Insurance Pre-Game Show hosted by Ronnie Lane and Anthony Becht beginning at 10:30am.
By Ronnie Lane
The Buccaneers and the Panthers will square off this afternoon for the second time this season. The Bucs are hoping to extend their winning streak to four in-a-row, meanwhile the Panthers, the hottest team in the National Football League, looking to extend their winning streak to eight in-a-row.
This is a very solid Carolina Panthers defense, the top scoring defense in the NFL, they give up just 13.7 points per game. That's it. They're very stingy, so the Bucs are not going to get a ton of points today - they're going to have to make every drive and every scoring opportunity count in order to surmount this red-hot Carolina team.
Meanwhile, the Bucs will try to re-establish their running game which was stifled by Detroit's defense which was ranked fifth against the run going into last week. This Panthers' defense is ranked third defending the run, giving up just 81.5 yards per game and they have the third ranked overall defense in the league. This is a solid front seven - one of the best in the National Football League and will be quite a challenge for the reigning Rookie of the Month, Mike Glennon.
Can the Tampa Bay Buccaneers win this game? Yeah, sure they can. Will they win it? That's another question.
The only way to defeat Carolina, in my opinion, is to establish a running game and no one has really been that successful running the football against this front seven of the Panthers. Will the Bucs do it today? No, I don't think so - too much of a mountain to overcome.
If the game was at Raymond James Stadium, with the team playing with a new-found confidence with their three-game winning streak I think the Bucs would have a better chance. But going up against this defense in their house, with a playoff spot on the line - not necessarily a playoff spot on the line, but Carolina still has an opportunity to win the NFC South - so they're trying to run down the New Orleans Saints and this is a big game for the Panthers.
The Bucs are not going to sneak up on anyone. Teams have taken notice to what the Buccaneers have done in the last three weeks, so the Panthers will not come into this game flat; they will be sky-high on a holiday weekend to pull off their eighth consecutive victory in hopes of catching the New Orleans Saints.
The way I see it - The Bucs will come up a little short and drop this one 21-17. It will be a good game, an intriguing game, but the Buccaneers lose this one, in my humble opinion. Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving.
That's it for The Bucs Lane, thanks for reading.