Buccaneers face Panthers, clinging to slender playoff hopes
CAROLINA (6-9) at TAMPA BAY (8-7)
Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, Fox
OPENING LINE - Buccaneers by 3 1/2
RECORD VS. SPREAD - Carolina 5-9-1, Tampa Bay 9-6
SERIES RECORD - Panthers lead 20-12
LAST MEETING - Buccaneers beat Panthers 17-14, Oct. 10
LAST WEEK - Panthers lost to Falcons 33-16; Buccaneers lost to Saints 31-24
AP PRO32 RANKING - Panthers No. 23, Buccaneers No. 16
PANTHERS OFFENSE - OVERALL (19), RUSH (12), PASS (T21).
PANTHERS DEFENSE - OVERALL (22), RUSH (4), PASS (32).
BUCCANEERS OFFENSE - OVERALL (17), RUSH (T22), PASS (15).
BUCCANEERS DEFENSE - OVERALL (26), RUSH (24), PASS (23).
STREAKS, STATS AND NOTES - Buccaneers snapped six-game losing streak in rivalry between NFC South teams in first meeting, winning on rookie Roberto Aguayo's 38-yard FG in closing seconds. Panthers played without injured QB Cam Newton. ... Newton has 14 TD passes vs. four interceptions in eight career games against Bucs. ... With 1,051 yards receiving, Panthers TE Greg Olsen is first tight end in league history with three consecutive 1,000-yard seasons. Leads all TEs with 311 receptions, 3,979 receiving yards since 2013. ... Panthers S Kurt Coleman has 14 interceptions since 2014, most by NFC safety over that span. He has three in past five games. ... Panthers DE Mario Addison has 8 1/2 sacks, seven in past six games. ... Bucs QB Jameis Winston is 112 yards shy of throwing for 4,000 yards in consecutive seasons. He has 27 TD passes, tied for club single-season record, but also has thrown NFC-leading 17 interceptions. ... Bucs will be without two-time Pro Bowl RB Doug Martin, who begins serving four-game suspension for violating NFL's policy on performance enhancers, as well as TE Cameron Brate, who went on injured reserve after hurting back last week. Brate leads NFL tight ends with eight TD receptions. Fantasy Tip: With Martin out, RB Jacquizz Rodgers will make fifth start of season. He had first 100-yard rushing performance of six-year career against Panthers on Oct. 10, gaining 101 on 30 carries and catching five passes for 28 yards in victory. He ran for career-best 154 yards on 25 attempts in following game at San Francisco.
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