‘Tis the season to find out who was naughty and who was nice, so when Roger Goodell gets handed the paperwork from Sunday’s Raiders-Panthers game, he will see that Carolina’s Cam Newton was very, very naughty. The NFL Commissioner will leave a few lumps of coal in Newton’s stocking and could add a note telling the quarterback to just watch his team’s season finale on TV.
Injuries should not play a major part in the final meeting of the year between the Buccaneers and Panthers this Sunday at Bank of American Stadium as only one player is listed as out. However, the Buccaneers have a concern at guard with starter Jamon Meredith hobbled with an ankle injury.
Jeremy Bridges has yet to play a game this season but Carolina Panthers head coach Ron Rivera believes he is exactly the right man to plug at least one hole in a porous offensive line. If the name sounds familiar, Bridges was a member of the Panthers from 2006-08 and if he is good to go, he could slide right in as a starter.
The Panthers played one of their better games of the year but in the end they came up short against another struggling team, the Cowboys. The 19-14 loss drops Carolina four games under .500 after just six games and any hope of a postseason berth might have just gone up in smoke.
The Panthers are dinged up on defense and that could make all the difference against the Seahawks on Sunday especially when having to face down the NFL’s leading rusher Marshawn Lynch who took most of the week off to rest. Seattle’s second ranked defense is relatively healthy and that could spell trouble for Carolina QB Cam Newton.
The Panthers and Buccaneers each have top players banged up, but it’s Tampa Bay thats feeling the pain, especially at cornerback. Carolina quarterback Cam Newton had a record setting rookie campaign passing the ball, and could have a field day to start his second year against a secondary with little depth.