The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will face the Carolina Panthers in a Week 6 game that will begin early Sunday morning (for United States-based viewers) in London. As the teams kick off at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, both of them will be looking to get an edge over the other in the NFC South.
Through the first five weeks, the Buccaneers boast a 2-3 record under new head coach Bruce Arians. After suffering an embarrassing 31-17 loss in Week 1 versus the San Francisco 49ers, Tampa Bay has looked much better in recent weeks.
Among their wins, the Buccaneers were able to defeat the Panthers in Week 2 on Thursday Night Football. In that game, Cam Newton was still manning Carolina’s offense alongside Christian McCaffrey.
Now, the Panthers have Kyle Allen leading their offense as the quarterback with Newton nursing a foot injury. With Allen under center, the Panthers have won three straight games to improve their record to 3-2.
Carolina’s offense is vastly different than it was when Newton was running around. With that being said, here are three bold predictions for the Buccaneers in Week 6 versus the Panthers.
3. Jameis Winston Will Throw for 400 Yards
When speaking about the Panthers, their pass defense has gotten overlooked early in the season. In the first five weeks, Carolina has allowed only 197 passing yards per game this season (fourth-best in the NFL).
Along with their secondary led by Donte Jackson and James Bradberry, the Panthers are also good at getting to the quarterback. This season, Ron Rivera’s defense has brought the quarterback down 20 times (second-most in the NFL).
Even with those things being taken into consideration, Jameis Winston will have his fifth-straight game of being efficient in Arians’ offense. The fifth-year quarterback will throw for 400 yards on Sunday in front of the crowd in London.
2. The Buccaneers Will Force Four Turnovers on Kyle Allen
The Todd Bowles effect has been very noticeable for the Buccaneers on the defensive side of the ball. Last year, Tampa Bay’s defense forced just 17 turnovers throughout the entire season.
In just five games under Bowles as the defensive coordinator, the Buccaneers have taken the ball away 10 times (tied for third-most in the NFL). Their success at getting the ball back for their offense will continue in Week 6.
Since Allen has taken over, the second-year quarterback has yet to throw an interception this season. At the same time, Allen has fumbled the ball six times. Bowles is going to have a defensive game plan that is going to help the Buccaneers’ defense force four turnovers on Sunday.
1. Buccaneers Will Hold Christian McCaffrey Under 100 Yards from Scrimmage
When game-planning against the Panthers, the first player you have to focus on is Christian McCaffrey. The versatile running back has totaled 866 yards from scrimmage and seven touchdowns.
Nevertheless, the Buccaneers have been the only team this season that has been able to contain the early MVP candidate. Back in Week 2, Tampa Bay held McCaffrey to just 53 yards from scrimmage and zero touchdowns on Thursday night.
Yes, both teams are different from when they first played earlier in September. But that doesn’t mean that the Buccaneers can’t do it again, right? With Bowles getting the defense prepared, the Buccaneers are going to hold McCaffrey to under 100 yards from scrimmage for the second time in 2019.