Tale Of The Tape: Carolina Panthers At Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Carolina Panthers
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
(credit: Rob Carr/Getty Images)
(credit: Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
(credit: Rob Carr/Getty Images)
(credit: Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
Winner When the subject is talent and ability, Cam Newton does not have to take a backseat to too many quarterbacks. However, when the subject is consistency and confidence, Newton does not always measure up. When Newton keeps his mind on his business, he can be formidable. That should be the case in this game against the lowly Bucs.
Mike Glennon seems to have a good understanding of what head coach Greg Schiano wants to do with his offense, but the Bucs don’t have the kind of weapons to help him run a consistent attack. Glennon is best served by throwing short- and medium-range passes and using a solid running game. However, if Doug Martin (shoulder) is not healthy, it’s a tough assignment for Glennon.
Winner The Panthers have the kind of physical talent on the offensive side of the ball to be a very dangerous team. Start off with running back DeAngelo Williams, who has the breakaway ability and change of direction to cause havoc for the defense. Wide receiver Steve Smith and tight end Greg Olsen will get open and catch the ball, but Smith needs to produce more big plays.
Winner The Bucs need to use a physical, pounding attack if they are going to be successful because Glennon is a limited quarterback. Martin is the kind of running back who can carry a team for long stretches, but only if he is 100 percent healthy. With just a little bit of help from the running game, Vincent Jackson can be a gamebreaking receiver because of his strength and hands.
Winner The Panthers have one of the most intimidating defensive teams in the league. They rank third in total yards allowed and they punish opponents every chance they get. Luke Kuechly is one of the NFL’s best middle linebackers. He almost always makes the tackle when he gets a chance to wrap up the ball carrier and he is excellent in pass coverage. Defensive end Greg Hardy is a solid pass rusher.
The Bucs do a solid job on defense, but that unit is not good enough to overcome all of the team’s offensive inefficiencies. Outside linebacker Lavonte David is fast and physical, but he has not always been able to control his emotions. Free safety Dashon Goldson is almost always around the ball and he is perhaps the team’s best tackler.
Special Teams
The Panthers would like to get a lot more out of their return game than they do. Ted Ginn is one of the most explosive returners in the league, but he has yet to break a big one. Graham Gano has been a very dependable field goal kicker, while Brad Nortman gets excellent height on his punts.
Winner The Bucs have been dependable in the punt and kickoff coverage, but they don’t have anyone who is going to break a long play. Rian Lindell is not a good enough placekicker, but punter Michael Koenen is a dependable directional punter who can keep an opponent in check.

The Winner Is

(credit: Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Winner Carolina Panthers
3 out of 4

The Panthers have given a few hints that they are starting to improve, but it would not be a shocker if they failed to attend to business against a divisional rival on the road. If Ron Rivera could get his players to compete at a higher level, the Panthers have the kind of talent that would allow them to dominate.
-Steve Silverman, CBS Local Sports contributor


  1. MINNEAPOLIS, MN - OCTOBER 9: Quarterback Brock Osweiler #17 of the Houston Texans drops back to pass during the first quarter of the game on October 9, 2016 at US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) SAN DIEGO, CA - OCTOBER 13:  Trevor Siemian #13 of the Denver Broncos warms up before the game against the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium on October 13, 2016 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
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  2. SEATTLE, WA - OCTOBER 16:  Quarterback Russell Wilson #3 of the Seattle Seahawks passes against the Atlanta Falcons at CenturyLink Field on October 16, 2016 in Seattle, Washington.  (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images) GLENDALE, AZ - OCTOBER 17:  Quarterback Carson Palmer #3 of the Arizona Cardinals looks to make a pass against the New York Jets in the first half of the NFL game at University of Phoenix Stadium on October 17, 2016 in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
    Week 7 Tale Of The Tape: Seattle Seahawks At Arizona Cardinals

    The Seahawks face their NFC West foe on the road as the Cardinals look to get above .500 for the first time this season.

  3. FOXBORO, MA - OCTOBER 16:  Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots prepares to receive a snap during the game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Gillette Stadium on October 16, 2016 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images) PHILADELPHIA, PA - SEPTEMBER 25:  Quarterback  Landry Jones #3 of the Pittsburgh Steelers throws a pass during warm ups before playing against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on September 25, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
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