Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-4) at Carolina Panthers (5-2)
What’s up sports friends! It’s me, Mike Osborne, your third favorite person ever and the most interesting sportswriter in my home, usually. The Buccaneers bounce to Charlotte to combat division rival Panthers. Jameis Winston has been turning over the ball too much and the Bucs turned over the team to Ryan Fitzpatrick. Fitzpatrick, cerebral and seasoned, on working through his reads on the sideline:
I’ll never be able to go to a football game again and just relax and observe and enjoy it for what it is. There’s always a strategy involved to it. There’s always that heightened awareness of what they’re doing on defense and what we could do to combat it or make a play better. I’ve had a lot of time in my career to be able to sit back and to watch and to see things progress through a game and how I would do it or how I would do it differently. I think that’s been helpful for me.
– Ryan Fitzpatrick
Winston watches Fitzpatrick and incorporates some of what Fitz does into his own game. He will have plenty of time to watch Fitz now and will be a better QB for it.
Buccaneers offense versus Panthers defense:
Since 2015, when Dirk Koetter joined the team, first as offensive coordinator, the Buccaneers offense has been top 10 in both total yards and passing yards. OC Todd Monken, who is calling the plays this season, has been able to build on that success and his krewe is 1st in total offense, 1st in passing offense, and 7th in points scored. Fitz has a passer rating of 119.3 best in the league among qualified QBs. Wide receiver Mike Evans has 46 receptions for 770 yards good for 5th most in the league. The ground game, led by running back Peyton Barber, has not put up big numbers. The team has a turnover margin of -13, tied for second worst, due in part to Winston and his 10 interceptions in 3.5 games. Fitzpatrick has taken better care of the ball in his 3.5 games he has thrown 5 interceptions.
The Panther defense is good, 11th in points allowed. The total defense ranks 13th, rush defense 8th, and the pass defense is 17th. They are not a unit to fear though and rank in the bottom half of the league in sacks. Fitzpatrick will move the ball and score points.
Panthers offense versus Buccaneers defense:
The Carolina offense is led by former league MVP “Superman” Cam Newton. Cam does it all, he has rushed for 309 yards with 4 TD’s, and has passed for 1,646 yards with 13 TDs. That versatility is difficult to defend, and it’s that kind of versatility you also see in RB Christian McCaffrey. CMC has 92 carries for 423 yards and a TD and he has 44 carries gaining 300 yards and 2 TDs. OC Norv Turner’s total and pass offense are ranked 19th and 25th. They are scoring consistently though and controlling the ball. They are 2nd in rushing, 12th in points scored, 2nd in sacks allowed, and 6th in turnover margin at +6.
Tampa’s defense is one of the worst but now run by Mark Duffner and he will make them play better. Defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul is a stud with 8 sacks. Expect Carolina to continue running the ball and scoring.
Ryan Fitzpatrick will have time in the pocket and will take care of the ball. The Panthers run-first offense will not be able to keep up with the Buccaneers quick-strike aerial attack. The Buccaneers will beat the Panthers 34-24. DeSean Jackson will have a 50+ yard TD reception and take sole possession of 2nd most all-time, breaking his tie with Randy Moss.
That’s it from me friends. Hit me up in the comments below and follow me on twitter @stillnfac. I’m big into fantasy football and daily fantasy sports, I’m always up for a good football conversation.