It seems like just yesterday that these two teams met. Okay, it was four weeks ago, but still - not much has changed since I wrote up the series history in week two.
The Buccaneers escaped Carolina with a prime time victory, snapping a road losing streak for Jameis Winston and a Thursday night losing streak for the Buccaneers. It came down to one final play and Bucs’ cornerback Vernon Hargreaves was able to stop Panthers’ running back Christian McCaffrey on 4th-and-1 from the two yard line.
The Bucs raised their win total in the all-time series match-up to fifteen, bringing their record to 15-23. They’ll have to go on quite the run to get things back to .500, but that test begins in London.
Jameis Winston looks to become 5-4 against the Panthers, one of nine teams that he has a .500 record or higher against. He finished the last game with 208 yards and one touchdown, starting a run of four consecutive games with a passer rating of 100 or higher.
Christian McCaffrey has run wild over the NFL - except against the Buccaneers. This season, McCaffrey has over 100 all-purpose yards in four out of five games. That one game where he didn’t was of course the week two match-up with Tampa Bay. McCaffrey finished that night with 37 rushing yards and sixteen receiving yards. The Bucs will have to do all they can to shut down McCaffrey once again in order to neutralize a red hot Panthers offense.
Quarterback Kyle Allen will be making his first career start agains the Buccaneers, but Carolina is 3-0 since he took over for an injured Cam Newton.
The Buccaneers and Panthers kick off at 9:30 a.m. EST Sunday from London.