Inside the Numbers: Panthers vs Buccaneers Preview & Prediction

Diving deep into the stats for the Carolina Panthers week 10 matchup vs Tampa Bay
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The Carolina Panthers (3-6) are looking to snap their four-game losing streak this week against an angry Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-3) team that is coming off a devastating loss to the New Orleans Saints, 38-3. The Bucs won this matchup the first time around in week two by a 31-17 score. Who holds the upper hand this time in week 10? Let's get into it!

When the Carolina Panthers have the ball

Panthers OffenseStatsBuccaneers Defense 

369.2 (15th)

Total YPG/Yards Allowed

312.9 (4th)

108.9 (18th)

Rushing YPG/Allowed

77.9 (1st)

4.38 (15th)

Rushing Yards Per Att/Allowed

3.26 (1st)

259.3 (11th)

Passing YPG/Allowed

235 (14th)

18 (16th)

Sacks Allowed/Sacks

29 (2nd)

43.9 (11th)

3rd Down Efficiency 

41.7 (17th)

23.3 (23rd)

Points Per Game/Allowed

22.6 (9th)

For the Panthers to be able to move the ball with success, they're going to have to have some sort of balance, which is going to be tough to do against the best run defense in the NFL. Regardless of how good the Bucs front seven is, you have to keep them guessing, continue to pound the ball and hope that you can bust one loose for a big gain. If the Panthers can get 100 yards on the ground, you got to like their chances to win.

When it comes to the passing attack, this is where Carolina needs to shine. The Buccaneers are a middle of the road passing defense, but are susceptible to giving up big plays. Teddy Bridgewater might want to take some shots down the field, but there will be limited opportunities. Tampa is one of the best at getting to the quarterback and the Carolina offensive line has struggled all season long, so Bridgewater is going to have to get the ball out quick and trust his receivers to get yards after the catch.

Advantage: Tampa Bay defense

When the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have the ball

Buccaneers OffenseStatsPanthers Defense

349 (22nd)

Total YPG/Yards Allowed

361.8 (17th)

92.1 (30th)

Rushing YPG/Allowed

114.3 (13th)

3.97 (24th)

Rushing Yards Per Att/Allowed

4.57 (23rd)

256.9 (16th)

Passing YPG/Allowed

247.4 (20th)

13 (10th)

Sacks Allowed/Sacks

9 (T-30th)

40% (24th)

3rd Down Efficiency 

54.2 (31st)

27.8 (9th)

Points Per Game/Allowed

25.1 (13th)

Carolina has had trouble stopping the run all season long, but shouldn't have too much to worry about this week. Fortunately for the Panthers, Tampa Bay does not run the ball with much success. However, keeping Tom Brady and this explosive aerial attack in check is going to be a tall task for this young secondary. Antonio Brown and Mike Evans present matchup issues for the Panthers and double-teaming either one leaves your defense in a tough spot. For Carolina to have a good day defensively, they have no choice but to get pressure on the quarterback - which is something they haven't done well and Tampa has protected Brady better than most expected. Defensive coordinator Phil Snow likes to drop 7-8 guys in coverage, but this week you have to change it up. Brady will pick this defense apart if you play zone coverage and have little to pressure on him. As dangerous as Mike Evans is downfield, Carolina needs to force some throws to the boundary to give these young corners some extra help with the sideline.

Advantage: Tampa Bay offense

Prediction: Buccaneers 26, Panthers 21

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