Panthers Won’t Roll Over Last-Place Buccaneers
By Danny Cox
Something has got to give.
The Carolina Panthers have won seven in a row. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have won three in a row after losing their first eight.
Something has got to give.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have rallied behind rookie quarterback Mike Glennon and pulled out three very impressive wins. They have taken down the Miami Dolphins, demolished the Atlanta Falcons, and pulled one out over the Detroit Lions. Now, they hope to put a dent in the plans of the Carolina Panthers playoff push.
Tampa Bay’s Recent Offensive Threat
Glennon is far from an elite quarterback in the NFL, but he is doing his job and has learned the ropes. He’s playing well enough for the Bucs to win, and that’s exactly what they keep doing.
During the three-game winning streak, Glennon has thrown five touchdowns and only one interception. His main targets are Vincent Jackson and Tiquan Underwood, and the Panthers are going to have to watch them both carefully.
Jackson is a very powerful receiver and his veteran leadership helps the rest of the corps know where they are supposed to be and what they’re supposed to do. Underwood is speedy and if the Panthers don’t watch it, he will be behind the secondary before they even realize it.
Many thought the Buccaneers running game would die quietly after Doug Martin went out for the season and Mike James got injured, but that is far from what has happened.
Ever since being released by the Cleveland Browns, Bobby Rainey has rejuvenated his career and is playing some of his best football. The Panthers need to keep an eye on him at all times because he’s a player that can tear it up on the ground or coming out of the backfield as another target for Glennon.
Defensively, Carolina may end up getting a break.
Cornerback Darrelle Revis suffered a groin injury near halftime on Sunday against the Lions, and it isn’t certain how bad it is just yet. If he can’t go next weekend, rookie Jonthan Banks should end up stepping in for him.
This past weekend, Banks did a very good job covering Calvin Johnson of the Lions, and that is no small feat.
Middle linebacker Mason Foster missed the Lions game for the Bucs due to a concussion. Tampa Bay’s head coach Greg Schiano hopes that he will be back for the game against the Panthers.
Tampa Bay is also going to have to look for another tight end this week as Tom Crabtree suffered a torn biceps muscle and has been placed on season-ending injured reserve. Tim Wright is currently the only tight end on the Buccaneers active roster, and that is one less target for the Panthers to worry about.
Carolina almost fell victim to the perfectly drawn-up trap game in the Miami Dolphins, but they were able to escape with a win. Now, they need to make sure not to take the Bucs lightly either because they are streaking and trying to prove that the 0-8 start is not who they truly are.
For more Carolina Panthers news and updates, visit Carolina Panthers Central.
Danny Cox knows a little something about the NFL, whether it means letting you know what penalty will come from the flag just thrown on the field or quickly spouting off who the Chicago Bears drafted in the first round of the 1987 draft (Jim Harbaugh). He plans on bringing you the best news, previews, recaps, and anything else that may come along with the exciting world of the National Football League. Danny is a freelance writer covering all things NFL. His work can be found on Examiner.com.