Buccaneers game day is approaching, and it’s time for the PewterReport.com staff to offer up its weekly game predictions. Let us know what you think in the article comments section and add your prediction, too.

When: Sunday, November 15, 2020
Kickoff: 1:00 p.m. ET
Location: Bank of America Stadium
PLAY-BY-PLAY: Kevin Burkhardt
ANALYST: Daryl Johnston
SIDELINE: Pam Oliver
PLAY-BY-PLAY: Gene Deckerhoff
ANALYST: Dave Moore
PLAY-BY-PLAY: Carlos Bohorquez
ANALYST: Martin Gramatica

Join PR’s Matt Matera on PewterReport.com’s Red Board to talk Bucs football for a live game day chat, starting at noon. on Sunday all the way through to the final whistle. Click the link below to access the Game Day Thread on the Red Board.


Scott Reynolds: Victorious Bucs Match Last Year’s Win Total

The Buccaneers are the better team and they will beat the Panthers and sweep their NFC South rival because they’ll win the battle in the trenches. Tampa Bay has the better pass rush and the better offensive line – I think left guard Ali Marpet gets through concussion protocol and will play in this game. I also believe cornerback Carlton Davis III will also shake off a knee injury and play, too.

Bucs ILB Devin White and Panthers RB Mike Davis

Bucs ILB Devin White and Panthers RB Mike Davis – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

The Panthers are better than their 3-6 record indicates and even though the Bucs won the first game in Week 2, 31-17, Tampa Bay scored a touchdown in the waning minutes of the game appear more lopsided than it really was. The Bucs raced out to an early 14-0 lead in the first quarter, but the Panthers pulled closer in the second half. Pro Bowl running back Christian McCaffrey scored two touchdowns against the Bucs, but he won’t be available this week as he’s out with a shoulder injury. Power running back Mike Davis replaces McCaffrey, but he’s no slouch and will present a challenge. Still, Tampa Bay has more firepower and has something to prove after being embarrassed by New Orleans, 38-3, on Sunday Night Football.

For more Bucs at Panthers preview, check out my 4 Match-ups To Watch by clicking here, in addition to my look ahead to Carolina in my Rewind – Fast Forward section of my SR’s Fab 5 column by clicking here. Tampa Bay triumphs in close fashion and gets win No. 7 on Sunday, which ties the Bucs’ victory output from a year ago when the team went 7-9 in Bruce Arians’ first year as head coach.

Reynolds’ Score Prediction: Buccaneers 27, Panthers 23
Reynolds’ Season Record: 6-3

Mark Cook: Bucs Bounce Back In Big Way

If the Buccaneers have hopes of wining the division and securing a home playoff game, it starts on Sunday. Tampa Bay can’t afford to drop any divisional games, and still will need help from other teams to beat the Saints for that to be a possibility. But for now they need to approach each week as a one-game season. The Panthers don’t feel sorry for the Buccaneers getting blown out by the Saints last week, and may have learned a few things from watching that game tape.

Bucs QB Tom Brady

Bucs QB Tom Brady – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

Tampa Bay hopefully got the wake-up call needed last week in their loss. Press clippings, being the talk of the national shows and patting themselves on the back got they a 38-3 smack up side the head. If they got the message they should come away with a doubt-digit win on Sunday. The Buccaneers are head and shoulders better than the Panthers. I know Carolina has played some teams close in a few of its six losses, but the fact is it is 3-6 for a reason. On the other hand, Tampa Bay is 6-3 for a reason.

The game could be closer than fans might like through the first half, but you can bet Tom Brady will be fired up for redemption after last week and the Bucs offensive line should be as well. Tampa Bay’s defense is a heck of a lot better than we saw as last week and Todd Bowles will have defenders ready to go. At halftime it might be 21-14, but by the end of the fourth quarter it will be 33-17. The Buccaneers know this is a must-win game with the Rams and Chiefs upcoming. Oh yeah, Mike Evans will explode for 150 yards receiving. Bet on it.

Cook’s Score Prediction: Buccaneers 33, Panthers 17
Cook’s Season Record: 5-4

Jon Ledyard: Can’t Pick The Panthers And Still Believe In Bucs

As ugly as the loss to the Saints was last week and as disjointed as the Bucs have looked on both sides of the ball for parts of this season, I can’t bring myself to pick against them this Sunday when they battle the 3-6 Panthers.

Bucs LT Donovan Smith

Bucs LT Donovan Smith – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

Yes, the Panthers are better than your average 3-6 football team. They’ve taken the Saints and Chiefs down to the wire over the past three weeks, and they gave the Bucs a run for their money back in Week 2. Carolina is a much better team in Week 10 than they were two months ago, with an efficient and explosive passing game and an opportunistic defense that has forced 12 turnovers. But Carolina can’t hold a candle to the Bucs talent, especially in the trenches and at the quarterback position, which has to matter more than anything else this Sunday.

This is a gut-check game for the Bucs. If they lose this game, they shouldn’t be considered a playoff team right now. If Tampa Bay can’t respond with a significant level of resiliency against an inferior opponent after an embarrassing beat-down on the national stage against the Saints, we’ll know they aren’t yet a team that is made of the right stuff. I still believe in this team, and I think they’ll get the job done on Sunday, but their level of desperation has to exceed that of a 3-6 Panthers team that is quite literally down to their last life after losing four straight.

Ledyard’s Score Prediction: Buccaneers 27, Panthers 14
Ledyard’s Season Record: 8-1

Matt Matera: Bucs Take Out Their Frustrations On Panthers

Bucs linebacker Lavonte David gave us a window into how the locker room truly feels after saying that players were pissed following a huge, 38-3 loss to the Saints. Quite frankly, they should be pissed, because the Bucs haven’t played up to their standards over the last two weeks. Maybe getting pissed off is exactly what they need to happen, and I expect them to come firing out of the gates this week with this attitude.

Bucs QB Tom Brady

Bucs QB Tom Brady – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

Quarterback Tom Brady is not a guy that often loses twice in a row, either. If you look at the prior two losses for Tampa Bay, they went on to score 31 and 38 points, respectively, in double-digit wins the following weeks. And while Brady didn’t exactly light it up in either win, throwing for just a combined 383 yards, three touchdowns, and one interception, but overall the entire team has played better as a unit.

The Bucs get some help with Christian McCaffrey out of the game, but Carolina has been successful with backup Mike Davis, and Tampa Bay has allowed over 100 yards rushing in the last two games. I’m also curious to see how Jamel Dean and Sean Murphy-Bunting fare against Carolina’s receivers, as they’ve struggled recently. With that said, the Bucs will get back to blitzing and playing their style of football, leading to a convincing victory.

Matera’s Score Prediction: Buccaneers 31, Panthers 14
Matera’s Season Record: 6-3

Taylor Jenkins: Bucs Get Back On Track

Heading into the season the Panthers were expected to be among the worst teams in the league with a new head coach, a new quarterback and the retirement of their long-time defensive leader Luke Kuechly. Despite sitting at 3-6 however, the Panthers have played some tough football this season. Losses to the Bears and Falcons hurt, but Carolina also has impressive wins over the Cardinals and the Chargers, and razor thin losses to the Chiefs and Saints.

Bucs DT Ndamukong Suh

Bucs DT Ndamukong Suh – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

The Panthers have a capable offense when in sync as quarterback Teddy Bridgewater has been solid this year with a talented receiving corps in Robby Anderson, D.J. Moore and Curtis Samuel, but the team’s top weapon Christian McCaffrey has also been sidelined for much of the season, including this Sunday against Tampa Bay. Where Carolina will struggle the most against the Bucs will surely be their defense as they lost a leader at every level of the unit heading into this season. The Panthers watched Kuechly retire, defensive tackle Kawann Short hit the injured reserve and cornerback James Bradberry leave as a free agent to the Giants in 2020 and haven’t come close to replacing their impact. To this point in the season the Panthers have totaled just 10 sacks while allowing 246.8 passing yards per game and over 25 points per game to their opponents.

Carolina, despite over-performing at times this year, is right in the middle of a rebuild while the Bucs have assembled a ton of talent and shifted firmly into win-now mode. Despite their shockingly poor performance against the Saints in Week 9, I fully expect Tampa Bay to bounce back with a convincing win this week.

Jenkins’ Score Prediction: Buccaneers 30, Panthers 20
Jenkins’ Season Record: 6-3

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About the Author: Mark Cook

Mark Cook currently is the director of editorial content and Bucs beat writer and has written for PewterReport.com since 2011. Cook has followed the Buccaneers since 1977 when he first began watching football with his Dad and is fond of the 1979 Bucs team that came within 10 points of going to a Super Bowl. His favorite Bucs game is still the 1979 divisional playoff win 24-17 over the Eagles. In his spare time Cook enjoys playing guitar, fishing, the beach and family time.Cook is a native of Pinecrest in Eastern Hillsborough County and has written for numerous publications including the Tampa Tribune, In the Field and Ya'll Magazine. Cook can be reached at mark@pewterreport.com
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Pete Wood
11 months ago

Bucs win big. Two turnovers at least. And four or more TDs.
Bucs are back, baby!

11 months ago

Bucs plug the leak to keep the ship from drowning but still have a lot to prove.

11 months ago

Bucs squeeze out a win 24-21.

11 months ago

As Yogi (the baseball player not the cartoon character) said, “50% of it is half mental”. I believe this game will tell a lot about the team’s psyche after taking one of the worst defeats in team history. Albeit, with one of the most talented rosters. Same goes for the Panthers who have played well enough to win more, but have come up a bit short. They too must be frustrated. If the Bucs start the game as we have the past few contests, unable to get a first down ourselves or stop the opponent; the mental aspect will become… Read more »

Reply to  scubog
11 months ago

LOL! Any comment that begins with a Yogi Berra quote gets an automatic thumbs up. The other Berra quote that comes to mind: When you come to a fork in the road, take it. Well, the Bucs have now come to a fork in the road … either they go down the path they started on last week by falling apart in a key home game for the lead in the division, and fail miserably … or they pick themselves up this week and win out, or mostly win out. What few seem to remember is that in the great… Read more »

Captain Sly
11 months ago

Think Bucs win because they’re a better football team and not because they have worked out there differences.. Bruce Arians has been trying to prove that his offense is more important than talent since he’s been here meaning sending his receivers on these deep out routes forcing Brady to hold the ball too long. No doubt Carolina will sit in that cover two forcing check downs all game and Brady will not force it into tight windows Forget about it! It’s so frustrating since Mike Evans is our best option & they won’t even target him in this offense. Sure… Read more »

11 months ago

Bucs should win. If they don’t like you said hey aren’t a playoff team. If they somehow to manage to lose this with Chiefs, Rams, Vikings, Falcons, and decent Lions left then they might struggle to have winning record.
Predictions are lame and about impossible as nobody predicted Saints to stomp us 38-3. I’ll take Bucs maybe 31-23, but I sure as hell wouldn’t bet on it.

11 months ago

Well, as always, it comes down to player performance on the field, and coaching. Our players are certainly capable of playing much better than they did last Sunday, and our coaches are certainly capable of coaching much better than they did last Sunday.

So what’ll it be tomorrow, and for the rest of this season? Good or bad?

I choose to believe good, but we’ll soon see.

Bucs 35-Panthers 21

11 months ago

. Scubog is absolutely correct. My observation; the players are talented enough; it’s the coaching game plan flaw and why do I say this? They have no problem replacing players when the plays called don’t work; but their ego’s get in the way to make adjustments sooner than later. The same thing is also seen in business, education, healthcare, religion, etc.

Reply to  Horse
11 months ago

Ok… so sometimes ur gameplan doesn’t work out. It happens. But, it is inexcusable to not make halftime adjustments to rectify things and give ur team a fighting chance. I mean what Coach would not want to make changes if their team is getting slaughtered? It’s borderline incompetence!

Reply to  bucballer
11 months ago

You are correct. The problem is waiting for the half; might be too late. When we were at 14-0; it was time to make adjustments.