Week 1: Tampa Bay Buccaneers Vs. Carolina Panthers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Carolina Panthers
Carolina Panthers v New Orleans Saints
The Bucs are going to retool this year as Greg Schiano tries to re-energize the franchise. He’s going with talented Josh Freeman at quarterback and is hoping that mistakes will not be as plentiful as they were a year ago.
Winner Cam Newton had a record-setting rookie season and his experience should make him better. Newton needs to cut down on mistakes but he is a brilliant athlete with a strong arm.
The Bucs may not have a prolific offense this year, but they will be tough and physical with Doug Martin and LaGarrette Blount at running back. Vincent Jackson is a big-play diva receiver who will soon learn that Freeman lacks accuracy.
Winner The Panthers should have one of the more balanced offenses as DeAngelo Williams gives them a credible ground attack to support Newton. Steve Smith should be fine for this game and Brandon LeFell can make the tough catch on third down.
The Bucs are no longer known for the defense they played when they had Derrick Brooks and Warren Sapp, but Schiano made his bones as a defensive coach. Gerald McCoy is probably the best lineman, but he has struggled to stay healthy.
Winner There’s only one way to go for the Panthers since they were miserable last season on defense, setting franchise-worst records for points allowed and passing yards allowed. Rivera is depending on Luke Kuechly to improve tackling.
Special Teams
Winner The Bucs were not thrilled with special teams last year but they will give placekicker Connor Barth and punter Michael Koenen another chance this season. Koenen is a decent kickoff man as well as a decent punter.
The Panthers were a disaster on special teams last year and Rivera has made changes on the coverage teams that should make them more competitive. Rookie Brad Nortman will handle the punting duties and he needs to speed up his delivery.

The Winner Is

Carolina Panthers v New Orleans Saints
Winner Panthers
3 out of 4

The Panthers have a chance to be one of the surprise teams in the league this year. The offense looks balanced and somewhat dangerous with Newton at the helm and Kuechly should be a tackling machine. The Bucs will play hard for Schiano but they won’t play well.


  1. Giants quarterback Eli Manning. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) Sam Bradford #7 of the Philadelphia Eagles (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
    Week 6 Tale Of The Tape: New York Giants At Philadelphia Eagles

    Eli Manning helped the Giants pull out a last-second victory over the 49ers in Week Five, and now the Giants have gone from 0-2 to first place in the NFC East.

  2. Tom Brady of the New England Patriots. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) Andrew Luck (credit: Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
    Week 6 Tale Of The Tape: New England Patriots At Indianapolis Colts

    Tom Brady has been on fire this year. Even after he was sacked five times in the first half against the Dallas Cowboys, he still threw for 275 yards and two touchdowns without an interception.

  3. Philip Rivers  of the San Diego Chargers (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) Aaron Rodgers
    Week 6 Tale Of The Tape: San Diego Chargers At Green Bay Packers

    Philip Rivers welcomes the challenge of squaring off against Aaron Rodgers because he loves to compete and has a gunslinger’s mentality, but he is going to have a difficult time winning this encounter.

See All Tales of the Tape

Listen Live