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November 30, 2013 @ 12:40 pm
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Five Keys To Victory: Bucs at Panthers

Written by Mark
Cook
Mark Cook

Mark
Cook

Editor-In-Chief E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
The Buccaneers travel to Carolina to take on the Panthers who are currently second in the NFC South with an 8-3  record. Can the Bucs get their second road victory of the season? Find out what Mark Cook thinks Tampa Bay needs to do for its fourth win of the year.
The Buccaneers will get another crack at the Carolina Panthers on Sunday in an attempt to avenge a 31-13 defeat earlier this year to their NFC South division rival Carolina Panthers.

The Panthers embarrassed the Buccaneers in a nationally televised contest back on October 24, as Carolina quarterback Cam Newton threw for two scored and added one more on the ground. Will the second time be a charm for the Buccaneers who swept the series against the Panthers in 2012?

Each week PewterReport.com comes up with five keys that would help the Buccaneers achieve victory in their upcoming game.

1. Keep Cam Corralled
For Tampa Bay to have any chance of winning their fourth game in a row, they will need to keep Panthers QB Cam Newton in check. While Newton has matured and doesn’t just take off and run at the sign of trouble as he did often in his rookie season, he is still elusive, and the Buccaneers need to stay disciplined in their rush lanes. Last month in the Panthers win at Raymond James Stadium, Newton ran for 50 yards after breaking containment when some of Tampa Bay’s defensive linemen allowed Newton to get outside of the pocket.

Some think the best way to neutralize Newton is to keep him strictly in the pocket, and force him to make accurate down field throws. The one thing the Bucs can’t do, is, stunt themselves right out of containment.

2. Get The Rainey Train Back On Track
After a breakout game against the Falcons two weeks ago, Tampa Bay’s Bobby Rainey found little room to run last Sunday in Detroit. The Lions held the Bucs' fourth starting running back on the season to just 35 yards on 18 carries (1.9 avg.).

Rainey doesn’t necessarily have to repeat his 163-yard effort that he had against the Falcons, but if he averages less than two yards per carry on Sunday in Carolina the odds of Tampa Bay coming home with a win is extremely slim.

The Bucs offensive line needs to find ways to create a few seams, and at the very least make it second-and-8 instead of second-and-12, a place that they found themselves in often in Detroit.

3. Stake Out Smith
The probability of Bucs cornerback Darrelle Revis playing on Sunday is 50-50 at best. And while the Bucs were able to slow down Lions megastar Calvin Johnson without Revis in the second half after the star DB left with a groin injury, it still had the feel of trying to shoot a Lion with a dart gun. Fortunately for Tampa Bay, the darts were on target often, and the Lions suffered enough self-inflicted wounds that the Bucs were able to come away with the win.

If Revis doesn’t play – and even if he does for that matter – keeping Steve Smith in check will go a long way in beating the Panthers. Tampa Bay did an excellent job last month, holding Smith to 42 yards on four receptions, but that was with Revis matched up with Smith. Can Johnthan Banks, Leonard Johnson, or Danny Gorrer have the same results? That is doubtful, so the Bucs will most likely offer safety help the majority of Sunday’s matchup.

Ted Ginn, Greg Olson and Brandon Lafell are all also excellent receiving threats for Carolina, but Smith is the engine that makes the Panthers offense hum.

4. Don’t Settle For Three’s
Rian Lindell drew the ire of many Bucs fans last week when he missed two field goals that would have put the game away for the most part last Sunday in Detroit. The Buccaneers need to make Lindell non-existent on Sunday, except for extra points. That means the team is scoring touchdowns and not settling for field goals. And while three points is better than none, it is highly doubtful the Panthers commit five turnovers like the Lions did a week ago, and the Buccaneers may need to score a lot of points to win.

Head coach Greg Schiano told the media on Friday his confidence in Lindell hasn't wavered, but has Lindell's confidence in himself begun to wane? Score touchdowns and forget about field goals, and Tampa Bay could get their fourth win in row.

5. Element Of Surprise
When the Buccaneers were 0-7, and with little to lose, the playbook was opened up all the way to the back pages where the trick plays are located. Jump passes, surprise onside kicks, fake punts – the Bucs have pulled out a number of razzle dazzle plays so far this season. And while the success rate of those types of plays isn’t usually very good, Tampa Bay has been excellent in converting the “trickeration” concepts for the most part this season.

In order to beat a team on the road in the midst of a seven-game winning streak, it may be time to even draw a few up in the dirt on the fly. A fake field goal, a flea flicker or even a halfback pass may be needed to catch the Panthers off guard and get the Bucs in the end zone and a joyous return flight back to Tampa Bay.

PewterReport.com Predictions
Mark Cook – Panthers 24, Buccaneers 23
Scott Reynolds – Bucs 26, Panthers 24

Last modified on Saturday, 30 November 2013 13:41
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COMMENTS

  • avatar


    Well that sucked.
  • avatar


    My biggest key in this game would be to put David on Cam the way Brooks use to play Vick back in the day. Years ago Atlanta came to Tampa with the hottest Q.B. in the league. Vick was tearing up defenses with his running, the Bucs had the answer in Brooks. Number 55 shadowed him all day. Our surest tackler kept him from leaving the pocket, and made it difficult to throw over him. Employ the same tactic with David.
  • avatar


    To beat Carolina this week it will take a lot of turnovers. The Panthers have the top defense in the NFL and will be very tough to run against. Fortunately, there are plenty of play makers on the Bucs and we will also have Golston back. Glennon has been steadily improving, but he will need to get his vertical game going strong this week, and that will not be easy without a hot running game to set up play action. While our DEs need to contain their QB, we also need to put pressure on him with our DTs and our linebackers. We also have to continue being tough against the run, which we are pretty good at. GO BUCS!
  • avatar


    Lindell is a major liability. Somewhere out there is a kicker who can make a 35 yarder and is available. Why the Bucs are not auditioning kickers is beyond me.
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