TALE OF THE TAPE

Week 1: Tampa Bay Buccaneers Vs. Carolina Panthers

Buccaneers
Panthers
Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Carolina Panthers
Carolina Panthers v New Orleans Saints
Quarterback
The Bucs are going to retool this year as Greg Schiano tries to re-energize the franchise. He’s going with talented Josh Freeman at quarterback and is hoping that mistakes will not be as plentiful as they were a year ago.
Winner Cam Newton 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.
Offense
The Bucs may not have a prolific offense this year, but they will be tough and physical with Doug Martin and LaGarrette Blount at running back. Vincent Jackson is a big-play diva receiver who will soon learn that Freeman lacks accuracy.
Winner The Panthers should have one of the more balanced offenses as DeAngelo Williams gives them a credible ground attack to support Newton. Steve Smith should be fine for this game and Brandon LeFell can make the tough catch on third down.
Defense
The Bucs are no longer known for the defense they played when they had Derrick Brooks and Warren Sapp, but Schiano made his bones as a defensive coach. Gerald McCoy is probably the best lineman, but he has struggled to stay healthy.
Winner 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 Luke Kuechly to improve tackling.
Special Teams
Winner 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.
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
Winner 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. lawrence_taylor bill_russell
    Tale Of The Tape: Best Players To Stay With 1 Team

    In honor of Derek Jeter, the “Starkey and Mueller Show” elected to draft the best players in any sport to stay with one team for their entire career since 1980.

  2. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images) (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
    Tale Of The Tape: Seattle Seahawks At Washington Redskins

    The Seahawks don’t like to waste time when they go on the road.

  3. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
    Tale Of The Tape: Cincinnati Bengals At New England Patriots

    The Bengals are undefeated and rested, and they are licking their chops to get a shot at the Patriots when they are not at their best.

See All Tales of the Tape
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 6,139 other followers