Carolina Panthers vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - 12/1/13
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-8) at Carolina Panthers (8-3)
NFL Football: Sunday, December 1, 2013 at 1:00 pm (Bank of America Stadium)
The Line: Carolina Panthers -9.5 -- Over/Under: 41 See the Latest Odds
The Buccaneers head into Carolina looking to extend their winning streak to four games while the NFC Wild Card leaders from Carolina will look to extend their franchise best winning streak to eight.
The Bucs were the last team in the NFL to get a victory this season and it came on a Monday night at home against a Dolphins team who was in the midst of the Richie Incognito fiasco. However, it seemed to spark the squad as they have ripped off three straight wins and for all the off field distractions surrounding Greg Schiano and the injury bug that bit hard to sophomore running back sensation Doug Martin the Bucs are starting to make amends for an awful 0-8 start. Mike Glennon has come in to fill the void left by Josh Freeman and has been spectacular as a pocket passer and the emergence of Bobby Rainey on the ground and Tiquan Underwood through the air has given this team more weapons than just Vincent Jackson. Defensively Tampa is led by Darelle Revis who continues to prove his worth as one of the best corners in the game and he will likely be keyed in on Steve Smith in this one. While it is a case of too little much too late the Bucs can salvage their season by closing out the second half strong and build some momentum heading into next season.
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
If there was any questioning of the validity of Carolina’s winning streak it was certainly put into perspective last week as they showed some resiliency and went into Miami to hand the Dolphins a four point loss giving the Cats a seventh straight win and a firm grasp on at least a wild card berth. Carolina can chase down the New Orleans Saints for top spot in the NFC South but it will certainly be a tall task to accomplish as the Saints are rolling and look like Super Bowl contenders once again. Cam Newton had a down year by his standards last season but has certainly reclaimed his throne as one of the games most dynamic and electrifying players as he could be in serious consideration for the NFL MVP award. Defensively the Panthers are very strong led by second year linebacker Luke Keuchly who is among the best young players in the league and when he gets going it is certainly very exciting to watch this Panthers team play. Carolina is 4-1 at home while the Bucs are just 1-4 on the road but the Panthers have played into very tight quarters in a lot of their games this season and while the Bucs have been dismal for most of the season they have looked good of late and this is a divisional contest. If Tampa can establish the ground game I think they can keep this within the number and I think they feed Rainey early and often leading me to believe that the Bucs will keep this one at a respectable mark.