Week 11: Tampa Bay Buccaneers At Carolina Panthers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Carolina Panthers
Carolina Panthers v New Orleans Saints
Winner The Bucs have become a scary team and much of that is due to Josh Freeman. The Bucs have full confidence in their signal-caller and he has responded with a consistent effort for rookie head coach Greg Schiano. Freeman has excellent size, sees the field well and makes outstanding decisions. He has arm strength, a quick release and can make positive yards running with the ball.
After a great game against the Redskins, Cam Newton could not follow it up against the Broncos. He has lost much of the big-play ability he demonstrated throughout his rookie season. In addition to failing to hit crucial passes against the Broncos, he couldn’t get the job done on the ground either. Newton has appeared lost much of the season.
Winner The hard running of Doug Martin is probably an even bigger surprise than the play of Freeman. Martin is one of the most effective rookie running backs in years. He followed his 251-yard, 4-TD effort against the Raiders by running for 68 yards against the Chargers. Former San Diego wide receiver Vincent Jackson is the Bucs’ best downfield threat and Mike Williams is also effective.
The Panthers have struggled on the offensive end this season and that’s why this team has not been winning. Jonathan Stewart and DeAngelo Williams are solid running backs but they got shut down against the Broncos. Steve Smith needs to assert himself early in order to help Newton, but that has not been happening this year. Greg Olsen has good hands at tight end.
The Bucs struggle badly when it comes to stopping opponents through the air. The defensive line does not have the pass rush ability to put consistent heat on opposing quarterbacks and the secondary makes too many mistakes and is often out of position. Linebacker Lavonte David is a difference maker. He had 14 tackles against the Chargers.
Winner The Panthers are a very hard hitting defense and they will make it difficult for Martin to unleash a consistent ground game. However, the Panthers gave up 301 yards and a touchdown against Peyton Manning and they will have a difficult time controlling the mobile Freeman. Luke Kuechly is coming off a 10-tackle effort against the Broncos.
Special Teams
Winner The Bucs are confident in placekicker Conner Barth, who made both of his field goal attempts against the Chargers. Michael Koenen averaged 44.7 yards per punt against the Chargers. The Bucs did a solid job in coverage against San Diego.
The Panthers did not do anything to help themselves on special teams once again. Justin Medlock missed his only field goal attempt against the Broncos after a similar 0-for-1 effort against Washington the week before. Brad Nortman averaged 50.1 yards on nine punts vs. the Broncos and he gets excellent height on his kicks.

The Winner Is

Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Carolina Panthers
Winner Buccaneers
3 out of 4

The Bucs continue to respond to enthusiastic head coach Greg Schiano. Going on the road to face a desperate Panthers team will not be easy, but if Freeman can keep his wits about him as he has done for most of the season, they should be able to pull out a win over the mistake-prone Panthers.


  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)
    Week 7 Tale Of The Tape: Houston Texans At Denver Broncos

    The Broncos square off against their former QB as they welcome in Brock Osweiler and the Texans.

  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)
    Week 7 Tale Of The Tape: New England Patriots At Pittsburgh Steelers

    The Patriots are riding high and now face a Steelers team who will be without their starting QB.

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