29_35x90 knx_35x90

Tale of the tape

Week 1: Tampa Bay Buccaneers Vs. Carolina Panthers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Carolina Panthers Carolina Panthers v New Orleans Saints

Buccaneers

Panthers

The Bucs are going to retool this year as head coach Greg Schiano tries to re-energize the franchise. He’s going with talented but inconsistent Josh Freeman at quarterback and he is hoping that mistakes will not be as plentiful as they were a year ago when he turned the ball over 27 times. Quarterback It’s difficult for head coach Ron Rivera to feel anything but optimistic when the subject is Cam Newton. He 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 the running back slot. Vincent Jackson is a big-play diva receiver who will soon learn that Freeman lacks accuracy. Offense The Panthers should have one of the more balanced offenses in the league this season as DeAngelo Williams gives them a credible ground attack to support Newton’s passing. Veteran Steve Smith (foot) 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 stellar defense they played when they had stars like Derrick Brooks and Warren Sapp. Schiano made his bones as a defensive coach and he will make sure the Bucs will hit. Defensive tackle Gerald McCoy is probably the best lineman, but he has struggled to stay healthy. Defense 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 rookie middle linebacker Luke Kuechly to improve tackling.
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. Special Teams 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
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.

More Tales of the tape

  1. 451058894 Belgium v Russia: Group H - 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil
    Round Of 16 In 2014 World Cup: USA vs. Belgium

    The United States have advanced to the Round of 16 in back-to-back World Cup’s for the first time in history. After getting second place in Group G, USA will face Group H winner Belgium. Belgium, who is full of immensely talented players that play in EPL, is ranked 12th in the World heading into the tournament. Unlike the last two games for the Yanks, striker Jozy Altidore will be listed questionable for Tuesday’s game in Salvador, Brazil. Two of the world’s best keepers will go toe to toe at the Arena Fonte Nova stadium.

  2. (Photo Credit: Getty Images/Richard Heathcote) (Photo Credit: Getty Images/Warren Little)
    Tale Of The Tape: Winter Olympics In Sochi Vs. FIFA World Cup In Brazil

    With both sites having their share of issues in hosting major international sporting events, we went to the tape to decide who was the worst host of 2014.

  3. Cleveland Cavaliers v Atlanta Hawks LeBron James (Photo Credit: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
    Tale Of The Tape: LeBron James Decision 1 Vs. Decision 2

    Let’s compare LeBron James’ first decision to leave the Cavs to his decision to opt out with the Heat.

See all Tales of the Tape