Buccaneers hope to slay the Panthers

As the saying goes " Nothing could be finer than to be in Carolina". ? That is where the Bucs will try to get the season turned around tonight against the Panthers. 

The Bucs are off to a disappointing 1-3 start and have not lived up to the pre-season hype in any facet of the game. If the Bucs offense is to have a breakout game, tonight would be a good place to start. The Bucs pass happy offense led by Jameis Winston should be able to take advantage of a porous Carolina secondary which gave up  48 pts and over 500 yards of offense to Atlanta last week. 

After the last 3 games, all defeats in which Winston turned the ball over time after time, this match-up tonite should be a get well kind of game for the passing game. Mike Evans and Vincent Jackson should have huge games tonite. Adam Humphries and Cameron Brate should continue their solid production. 

The big concern offensively is the running game. The Bucs have to find someone who can run the ball with authority and get the tough yards. I Think Jacquiz Rodgers can be that guy given the opportunity. With Doug Martin out and Charles Sims banged up, look for Rodgers to get the majority of the touches. Peyton Barber will be the back up.  

Defensively Gerald McCoy and Clinton Mcdonald will not play due to injuries. That means lots of work for Akeem Spence, Davonte Lambert and Channing Ward on the defensive line.  Count on Noah Spence not playing as well as he is out with an injury. 

Cam Newton is out tonight for the Panthers. Derek Anderson will start in his absence. Anderson has started 2 games since 2011 both against the Bucs winning both of those games. Anderson is a very capable back-up and the  Bucs will need to be ready. He was a pro bowler in 2007 with Cleveland. 

Fozzy Whittaker is the featured back tonite for the Panthers as Jonathan Stewart is out tonight. 

The Panthers do have two very good receivers that should have the Bucs attention. Kelvin Benjamin, and TE Greg Olsen. Both Brent Grimes and Vernon Hargraves will have to bring their A game to slow down Benjamin. Grimes has not lived up to his pro bowl resume so far this season. Tonite would be a good night to get his season turned around. 

The keys to victory for the Bucs. 

--Winston has to exploit the Panthers secondary. Make good decisions with the football. No turnovers. Don't force the play when it is not there, take what the defense gives you. Is that asking to much?

--Get the running game going. I'm excited to see what Rodgers can do as the featured back. The Bucs have to establish a solid running game at some point. 

--Shut down Kelvin Benjamin. Don't let him go crazy and have a huge game. 

--The defense needs to show up and have a "statement" game. The stage is set. It's Monday Night, National TV, The Panthers are banged up, and The Bucs defense has yet to have that breakout game. Tonight that needs to happen. 

I like the Bucs to win tonight 24-13.