Know Your Foe: Tampa Bay Buccaneers, round one

KnowYourFoe_week16

CHARLOTTE - This Sunday, Tampa Bay comes to Carolina in eerily similar circumstances as the 2020 matchup.

The Buccaneers are coming off a 9-0 shutout on primetime television at the hands of the Saints.

Last year, Tampa Bay lost 38-3 to New Orleans on Sunday Night Football in the week before the Panthers game.

What happened next? 

Tom Brady and the Buccaneers' offense went on to average 34.6 points over the next seven games, including a 46-23 win over Carolina at home.

As the saying goes, 'hell hath no fury as a scorned Tom Brady.' Or something.

Tom Brady

BRADY IS STILL BRADY

Even including Sunday's debacle where Brady had a passer rating of 57.1 after throwing 26-of-48 for 214 yards and an interception, he's still in the hunt for NFL MVP consideration.

Brady leads the NFL with 4,348 passing yards and a league-best 36 passing touchdowns.

This year, he is one of just three quarterbacks with double-digit wins and is on pace for his eighth career season with a passer rating over 100.

Brady was shut out for just the third time in his career on Sunday, and his streak of 255 starts without being shut out (dating back to 2006) goes down as the second-longest in NFL history behind Drew Brees.

Leonard Fournette

MISSING WEAPONS

After last night's game, Brady will have one less weapon to work with as reports indicated that wide receiver Chris Godwin would be out for the rest of the season with a knee injury.

Mike Evans also left the game with a hamstring injury, while running back Leonard Fournette also suffered a hamstring injury.

Tampa Bay does potentially get some reinforcements back in Antonio Brown, whose suspension ends this week. But the Tampa Bay skill positions will be worth monitoring leading up to Sunday.

Vita Vea

STILL STOUT UP FRONT

The Buccaneers entered the season with one of the league's most stout defenses up front, and that has continued to hold to form throughout the season.

Teams are averaging just 89.0 rush yards per game against Tampa Bay. The 299 total rush attempts are the fewest against any defense in the NFL.

However, that low number isn't all because of coordinators' fears of the Bucs front seven.

Tampa Bay has had several injuries in the secondary and allowed 244.6 pass yards per game, 20th in the NFL. At times, that has led to some high-scoring affairs, with half of Tampa Bay's opponents scoring at least 25 points in games this season.r

Carolina is 24-18 all-time against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, posting a 12-10 record at home and 12-8 on the road.

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