Football before 1 p.m.? It sounds like a football fan’s dream.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers play the Carolina Panthers in their second game of the season on Sunday, Oct. 13, in London. Due to the time difference, this game kicks off at 9:30 a.m. eastern time, three and a half hours before the 1 p.m. games kick off.
Previously, the Buccaneers secured a division win over the Panthers on Sept. 12, 20-14.
Tampa Bay quarterback Jameis Winston talked a bit about the difficulty of traveling to London for a game.
For many players, this is their first time traveling outside the country. Panthers tight end Greg Olson spoke about how it’s his first time visiting London.
Flipped the Script
Jameis Winston started the season struggling to get much production, throwing three interceptions in the team’s loss to the 49ers. Since then, Jameis has thrown 10 touchdowns and only two interceptions to place him second in the NFL in touchdown passes.
The improved play from Winston played a role in their 55 point explosion against the Los Angeles Rams. Winston threw for 385 yards and four touchdowns in their upset of last year’s NFC champions. In the last year of his contract, Winston is making a case for a new deal this season.
Winston has had help. Buccaneers wide receiver Chris Godwin has recorded consecutive games where he’s had 125+ yards receiving and two touchdowns. Godwin already has six touchdown catches on the season and has been monumental in Tampa Bay’s success.
The Buccaneers’ offensive line will need to protect Winston if they want to succeed. Carolina’s pass rush ranks second in the NFL with 20 sacks through week 5.
According to Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly, the Carolina defense is just having fun out there.
Staring down the barrel of a gun is dangerous.
In this case, the gun is the Panthers’ offense, and Christian McCaffrey is the speeding bullet.
McCaffrey is coming off of one of the best games of his career against Jacksonville. The Carolina running back totaled 237 yards of offense and three touchdowns en route to the Panthers’ 34-27 win.
The Buccaneers have had success stopping McCaffrey this season. In their September win over the Panthers, they held him to only 53 total yards and held him out of the end zone.
Tampa Bay head coach Bruce Arians says that his team is able to make McCaffrey a non-factor this game.
As Arians mentioned, the Panthers are without Cam Newton this game as Kyle Allen makes his fourth start. Allen is 3-0 and making a case for him to be the starter going forward for Ron Rivera’s Panthers. He hasn’t thrown an interception yet and has five touchdown passes to lead the Panther’s offense to three straight wins since Newton went down.
The Panthers will look to keep that momentum going and pick up their first division win of the season.