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Panthers at Buccaneers Game Preview

Christian McCaffrey

The Panthers enter NFC South play in Week 2 as they head to Florida to take on the new-look Buccaneers. Led by newly signed, six-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady, the Bucs will be sporting some new faces in some new uniforms.

History: Panthers at Buccaneers

The Bucs went 7-9 in 2019, but this is hardly the same squad back for 2020. On offense, Brady and tight end Rob Gronkowski bring their pedigree from New England, while running back Leonard Fournette comes over after a 1,000-yard rushing season in Jacksonville. Tampa Bay drafted right tackle Tristan Wirfs in the first round to start along the offensive line.

But Bucs also have several weapons returning from last year. Mike Evans and Chris Godwin were both 1,000-yard receivers on the outside, while linebacker Shaquil Barrett led the NFL and set a new franchise record for sacks (19.5). Lavonte David returns as a 100-plus tackle mainstay at middle linebacker and Ndamukong Suh returns at defensive tackle.

Despite all the preseason hype, the Bucs faced a stiff test in Week 1 and fell, 34-23, at New Orleans.

Over the course of his career, Brady is 3-3 with an 85.7 passer rating in six games against Carolina in the regular and postseason.

Table inside Article
Category Panthers Buccaneers
Total Yards/Game 388.0 (8th) 310.0 (23rd)
Rushing Yards/Game 128.0 (15th) 86.0 (25th)
Passing Yards/Game 270.0 (10th) 239.0 (18th)
Sacks Allowed 1 (t-4th) 3 (t-21st)
Third Down Efficiency 53.8 (t-4th) 38.5 (18th)
Points/Game 30.0 (8th) 23.0 (t-16th)
Total Yards/Game 372.0 (19th) 271.0 (6th)
Rushing Yards/Game 133.0 (20th) 82.0 (6th)
Passing Yards/Game 239.0 (17th) 189.0 (7th)
Sacks 0 (t-30th) 1 (t-21st)
Third Down Efficiency 54.5 (t-30th) 33.3 (t-6th)
Points/Game 34.0 (t-26th) 34.0 (t-26th)
Jeremy Chinn

Stat Nuggets To Know

  • Running back Christian McCaffrey has scored five total touchdowns (three rushing, two receiving) against the Bucs, his most against any NFL team. Since the start of the 2018 season, he has averaged 107 scrimmage yards per game against Tampa Bay.
  • McCaffrey now has 41 career touchdowns, tying for 20th in NFL history through a player's first 50 games. Including Sunday, McCaffrey has had 13 multi-touchdown games, trailing only New Orleans running back Alvin Kamara (14) since 2017.
  • Wide receiver Robby Anderson's 75-yard touchdown in Week 1 was the second-longest receiving TD in Week 1 and was the 10th-longest in franchise history. Anderson now has three receptions of 70-plus yards since entering the league in 2016, tied for second-most in the NFL in that stretch.
  • Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater posted a passer rating of 98.9 in his debut for the Panthers, the fifth-highest by any quarterback in Week 1 in Panthers' history. Bridgewater also rushed for 26 yards, nearly equaling his entire 2019 rushing output (31).
  • Bridgewater passed for 314 yards with four touchdowns and one interception for a 131.3 rating in his last start against Tampa Bay in 2019.
  • Safety Jeremy Chinn posted eight tackles in his Panthers debut, tied for second-most among all NFL rookies.

Chasing Milestones in 2020

  • The Panthers need five wins to reach 200 regular season wins. Dating back to 1995, the Panthers are 195-205-1 in the regular season.
  • McCaffrey (306) needs 19 receptions to pass Wesley Walls for fourth-most in franchise history.
  • McCaffrey (3,016) needs 321 rushing yards to pass DeShaun Foster for fourth-most in franchise history.
  • McCaffrey (5,577) needs 887 scrimmage yards to pass Greg Olsen for fifth-most in franchise history.
  • McCaffrey (41) needs four total touchdowns to pass Wesley Walls for sixth-most in franchise history.
  • Wide receiver DJ Moore (2,017) needs 31 receiving yards to pass Ted Ginn to move into 10th place in franchise history.
  • Linebacker Shaq Thompson (357) needs seven tackles to pass Charles Godfrey for 10th place in franchise history.
  • Long snapper JJ Jansen (177) needs six games played to pass Steve Smith for second in franchise history behind John Kasay (221).

Notable Connections



  • Inside linebackers coach Mike Caldwell played linebacker for the Panthers in 2003.
  • Punter Bradley Pinion played collegiately at Clemson and is a native of Concord, N.C.
  • Cornerback Ryan Smith played collegiately at North Carolina Central.
  • Kicker Ryan Succop played collegiately at South Carolina and is a native of Hickory, S.C.
  • Wide receiver Jaydon Mickens spent time with the Panthers in 2019.

Carolina is 25-19 all-time against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, posting a 13-10 record at home and 12-9 on the road.

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