After my one week hiatus I am back with a brand new edition of 5 bold predictions! This week, Tampa Bay takes on their division rival, the Carolina Panthers. Last week Tampa Bay took a beating from the defending Super Bowl champions. Things weren’t that much better for Carolina either. Julio Jones racked up 300 receiving yards (no,that was not a typo) and Matt Ryan had over 500 yards passing as the Falcons beat the Panthers 48-33. The Buccaneers could certainly use a win this week but so could the Panthers. Who will come up on top?
Jameis Winston limits the mistakes: QB Jameis Winston started off the season with a great performance against Atlanta but after that game it seems that Winston has been trying to do too much and has been turning the football over. Since his week 1 performance Jameis has a dismal 4-7 TD to INT ratio. The loss of Doug Martin does hurt. I understand that but in order to win more football games he needs to take care of the ball more. What a better time to do it against a Panthers team that most likely will not have one of their top corners in James Bradberry due to injury? They also cut Bene Benwikere on Friday which means most likely there will be not one, but two rookie corners against the Bucs receivers. Just play smart Jameis, just play smart.
Big Mike will have a big night: That’s right Mike Evans will have a big night for himself in Carolina. As I stated earlier, Carolina is down some talent and Mike Evans vs a rookie corner really gets me excited.
Lakwonte will be all over the field: LB’s Kwon Alexander and Lavonte David are one of the youngest and best linebacker tandems in the NFL. Expect Kwon and Lavonte to both make some nice plays.
Vernon Hargreaves gets a first: Buccaneers Rookie corner Vernon Hargreaves has been the Bucs best corner so far this year. I believe that on the big stage he will show up big time when he gets his first INT of his career. Derek Anderson will likely get the start in Carolina with Cam Newton being down. Anderson has been a Buc killer as of late, defeating the team twice in 2014. In my mind Tampa’s defense is just better now than it was in 2014. Hargreaves will make plays and get a turnover.
Roberto Aguayo will be perfect: Kicker Roberto Aguayo really had a rough game against LA. He missed a FG and a XP, those were points the Bucs really needed. He made his only kick of the day last week when he nailed a XP. I believe Aguayo has found his stride and while he may miss some kicks here and there he won’t be missing 2 in a game anymore.
Well here we go, huge game for both teams. The Buccaneers have a chance to go 2-0 in the division this year and possibly salvage their season. The Panthers have a chance to rebound after a tough loss to Atlanta on the road. This will be a physical game, without Cam Newton I believe it increases the Buccaneers chances of winning but what is holding me back is our injuries along the d line. This game could go either way. The Buccaneers really need this win. They started 1-3 last year and bounced back. Let’s see if they can do it again. It starts on Monday night. GO BUCS!