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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Lookahead: Bucs vs. Panthers

Published:   |   Updated: November 27, 2013 at 06:43 AM

Bucs Lookahead

The surging Tampa Bay Buccaneers hit the road again Sunday to face the Carolina Panthers, who have won seven consecutive games behind the NFL’s No. 1 scoring defense. Here’s a look at the matchup:

RECORDS: Bucs 3-8, Panthers 8-3

REGULAR-SEASON SERIES: Panthers lead, 15-11

BUCS ROAD RECORD vs. PANTHERS: 6-7

LAST GAME: On Oct. 24, with Hall of Fame defensive tackle Warren Sapp in the house, Carolina never trailed and beat Tampa Bay 31-13 on NFL Network. The Bucs fell to 0-7 with their seventh straight home loss. Panthers QB Cam Newton threw two TD passes and ran for one score, while Bucs rookie QB Mike Glennon completed 30 of 51 throws for 275 yards. TE Tim Wright provided Tampa Bay’s only score on a 10-yard pass in the final moments. Newton threw for 221 yards and added 50 yards rushing as the Panthers improved to 4-3 after an 0-2 start.

NEED TO KNOW: Carolina’s opponents average only 13.7 points, and the NFL’s No. 3 defense is keyed by MLB Luke Kuechly and a powerful front four. A mediocre secondary can be exploited, but only if Glennon has enough time to survey the field. Newton has developed into a mature decision maker, especially on third down, and WR Steve Smith is always dangerous. The Bucs could have a difficult time matching up against TE Greg Olsen.

Tampa Bay has won three straight after an 0-8 start, and winning the turnover battle has been critical. The Bucs forced 12 turnovers in the past four games, and Glennon has only one interception with 10 TD passes in the past six weeks. MLB Mason Foster, inactive at Detroit with a concussion, could return and S Dashon Goldson is back after serving a one-game NFL suspension. The status of CB Darrelle Revis (groin) won’t be determined until later in the week.

Ira Kaufman

Statistical comparison

Category Bucs Panthers

Total offense 31st (303.4 ypg) 26th (318.8 ypg)

Rushing offense 19th (109.8 ypg) 9th (126.3 ypg)

Passing offense 28th (193.5 ypg) 30th (192.5 ypg)

Total defense 14th (346.1 ypg) 3rd (297.5 ypg)

Rushing defense 9th (101.6 ypg) 3rd (81.5 ypg)

Passing defense 21st (244.5 ypg) 7th (215.9 ypg)

Points scored 28th (19.2 ppg) 17th (23.5 ppg)

Points allowed 14th (23.5 ppg) 1st (13.7 ppg)

Sacks t24th (24.0) t6th (34.0)

Sacks allowed t15th (28.0) t19th (30.0)

Turnover margin t4th (+10) t4th (+10)

Team Leaders

Category Bucs Panthers

Rushing yards Doug Martin (456) DeAngelo Williams (610)

Passer rating Mike Glennon (91.6) Cam Newton (88.3)

Receptions Vincent Jackson (58) Steve Smith (51)

Receiving yards Vincent Jackson (888) Steve Smith (581)

Sacks Gerald McCoy (6.0) Charles Johnson (8.5)

Interceptions Six tied with 2 Luke Kuechly, Robert Lester, Mike Mitchell (3)

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