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Panthers vs. Buccaneers Game Preview

Panthers tackle

Game Reset

History: Panthers vs. Buccaneers

  • Carolina is 24-16 all-time against Tampa Bay, including a 12-8 mark at home.
  • Tampa Bay won the first meeting between these teams in Week 2, 31-17.
  • Current Streak: Bucs, W1

Tough Stretch

The Panthers are playing their sixth straight game against either a league MVP or Super Bowl MVP quarterback, the longest such streak in league history, according to NFL Media Research. That list includes Matt Ryan, Nick Foles, Drew Brees, Patrick Mahomes and now Tom Brady.

Even before facing the 6-3 Buccaneers, Carolina's strength of schedule (.558) through nine games was the toughest in the NFC. Only the Jets (47) have faced teams with more combined wins than the Panthers (43).

Carolina once again faces Tampa Bay a week after the Bucs lost to New Orleans. This past Sunday, the Saints rolled to a 38-3 win, handing Tampa Bay quarterback Tom Brady his largest margin of defeat and holding him to a passer rating of just 40.4, the third-lowest of his career.

What makes this meeting different from the Week 2 matchup between the Panthers and Bucs is the addition of Antonio Brown, who will bolster a receiving corps that's had issues keeping Chris Godwin healthy. With Brown, Tampa Bay now has three of the top eight players in receiving touchdowns since 2012 (Brown 73, Rob Gronkowski 55, Mike Evans 55).

Defensively, the Bucs' strong front seven continues to wreak havoc on opponents. They rank first in the league against the run (77.9), help lead the league in takeaways (16) and are second in sacks (29) and QB pressures (101).

Table inside Article
Category Panthers Buccaneers
Total Yards/Game 369.2 (15th) 349.0 (22nd)
Rushing Yards/Game 109.9 (18th) 92.1 (30th)
Net Passing Yards/Game 259.3 (11th) 256.9 (16th)
Sacks Allowed 18 (16th) 13 (10th)
Third Down Efficiency 43.9 (11th) 40.0 (24th)
Points/Game 23.3 (23rd) 27.8 (9th)
Total Yards/Game 361.8 (17th) 312.9 (4th)
Rushing Yards/Game 114.3 (13th) 77.9 (1st)
Net Passing Yards/Game 247.4 (20th) 235.0 (14th)
Sacks 9 (t-30th) 29 (2nd)
Third Down Efficiency 54.2 (31st) 41.7 (17th)
Turnover Margin +3 (t-9th) +5 (t-4th)
Points Allowed/Game 25.1 (15th) 22.6 (9th)

Stat Nuggets To Know


  • Carolina ranks seventh in the NFL in big plays (runs of 10+ yards, receptions of 20+ yards) with 61.
  • The Panthers are the only team in the NFL with three wide receivers with 30-plus touches and 400-plus scrimmage yards.
  • Carolina allowed just 36 rush yards last week at Kansas City, the fourth-fewest allowed in franchise history. Tampa Bay is coming off a game where they set an NFL record for fewest rush attempts (five, including a kneel-down).
  • In the Panthers' three-game win streak from Weeks 3-5, they were plus-5 in turnover margin. In the last four games, that margin is even.
  • Carolina leads the NFL with just seven three-and-out drives this season. League-wide, the NFL has only 512 three-and-outs, the fewest through Week 9 since that stat became available in 2000.
  • Carolina also leads the league with the fewest punts (18). The Panthers are on pace to set a franchise record for both fewest punts and fewest punts forced in a season.
  • Over the last three games, the Panthers have been perfect in the red zone, scoring seven touchdowns on seven trips.


  • Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater is tied for fifth in the league with 16 completions traveling at least 20 yards in the air. His air yard success rate of 55.8 ranks seventh.
  • Wide receiver Robby Anderson is fourth with 751 receiving yards and tied for third with 60 receptions.
  • Wide receiver Curtis Samuel caught all nine targets last week for his first 100-yard receiving game. Samuel has caught 38 of his 43 targets this season, tallying an 88.4 receiving percentage, the highest by any WR with at least 20 receptions.
  • Wide receiver DJ Moore is tied for second with 18.3 yards per catch.
  • Running back Mike Davis is tied for second with 24 broken tackles.
  • Linebacker Shaq Thompson leads the Panthers with 73 tackles, ranking 10th in the league.

Chasing Milestones in 2020

  • The Panthers need two wins to reach 200 regular season wins. Dating back to 1995, Carolina is 198-209-1 in the regular season.
  • Samuel needs six rushing yards to pass Steve Smith (387) for the most by a wide receiver in Panthers' history.
  • Moore needs two receptions to pass DeAngelo Williams (178) to move into sixth place in franchise history.
  • Linebacker Shaq Thompson needs 15 tackles to pass James Anderson (432) for seventh place in franchise history.
  • Defensive tackle Derrick Brown needs three tackles for loss to tie Star Lotulelei (9) for the most by a Panthers' rookie defensive lineman. Former linebacker Luke Kuechly (12) has the record for all rookies.

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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