The Buccaneers are coming off a blowout loss in Week 9 against the New Orleans Saints. Not only did Tampa Bay not score a touchdown, but quarterback Tom Brady threw three interceptions and was sacked three times. The Buccaneers lost by a final score of 38-3. They are now in second place in the NFC South standings and aren’t favored to win the division anymore.
The Panthers, meanwhile, lost to the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 9, though they only fell by two points. Carolina lost to Tampa Bay in Week 2, 31-17. This time, the Panthers will have to game-plan for Antonio Brown, who will play in his second game with the Buccaneers.
With Week 10 of the NFL season almost here, let’s take a look at four bold predictions for the Buccaneers-Panthers game from a Tampa Bay perspective.
1. Tom Brady bounces back with three touchdown passes
Brady is universally recognized as the best quarterback in NFL history. However, the six-time champion played terribly against the Saints and looked really washed.
With that being said, we expect Brady to bounce back in Week 10 against the Panthers. After all, the former New England Patriots superstar gunslinger very rarely has two bad games in a row. He’s such a fierce competitor who holds himself to such a high standard, so look for Brady to have a vintage game versus the Panthers.
We have Brady throwing three touchdown passes against the Panthers. He threw one in Week 2 versus Carolina while racking up 217 yards through the air.
Overall on the season, Brady has 20 touchdown passes and seven interceptions. He’s thrown for 2,398 yards and is completing 65.3 percent of his passes.
2. Antonio Brown scores first touchdown with Buccaneers
In his Buccaneers debut, Brown caught three balls from Brady for 31 yards. The former Pro Bowler, who is living with Brady in Derek Jeter’s Tampa Bay house, will surely get back into a groove as the season moves along.
With that being said, we have Brown scoring his first touchdown with the Buccaneers in Week 10 against the Panthers, who don’t have that lethal of a secondary. Since Mike Evans is still dealing with some type of groin ailment and Chris Godwin still has to get used to catching the ball after undergoing surgery to repair a fractured left index finger, Brown could get a bevy of targets in Week 10 versus the Panthers.
In three career games against the Panthers, Brown has 18 catches for 206 yards and three touchdowns. Buccaneers fans are hoping Brown will stay on his best behavior in Tampa Bay and be an explosive option in the passing game.
3. Buccaneers continue to be a dominant run defense
Tampa Bay has the best defense in the NFL in terms of run-stopping. The Panthers will be without star running back Christian McCaffrey in Week 10 due to a shoulder injury, so look for the Buccaneers to have another dominant outing defensively in the run game.
Without McCaffrey, the Panthers will rely on Mike Davis, who is a solid veteran with 353 rushing yards on the season. However, he’s not the explosive do-it-all back that McCaffrey is, which is a big break for a Buccaneers defense that got torched by Alvin Kamara and the Saints in Week 9.
Tampa Bay’s defense has a lot of prideful guys, so they will be hungry to redeem themselves after the terrible job they did versus New Orleans on Sunday Night Football.
4. Buccaneers defeat Panthers to improve to 7-3
We have Tampa Bay defeating the Panthers in Week 10 to get back in the win column and improving to 7-3 on the season. The team likely had a productive week of practice after getting demolished by the Saints on national television.
The Panthers are a well-coached team, but they are under matched in this game. The Buccaneers have the better coach, quarterback, running game (with McCaffrey out) and defense, so all signs are pointing toward Tampa Bay getting the win on the road.
These are the type of games the Buccaneers would lose in the past during the Jameis Winston era since he was a turnover machine who always gave opposing defenses chances. Although Brady had a Winston-like game in Week 9 against the Saints, that was likely a one-game showing.
We can’t see the future Hall of Famer having another awful game, especially since it’s a divisional game and the pundits are now questioning whether Brady has what it takes to lead the Buccaneers on a Super Bowl run.