TAMPA BAY (6-3) at CAROLINA (3-6)
Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, Fox
OPENING LINE - Buccaneers by 6
RECORD VS. SPREAD - Buccaneers 4-5; Panthers 5-4
SERIES RECORD - Panthers lead 24-16
LAST MEETING - Buccaneers beat Panthers 31-17 on Sept. 9
LAST WEEK - Buccaneers lost to Saints 38-3; Panthers lost to Chiefs 33-31
AP PRO32 RANKING - Buccaneers No. 9; Panthers No 20
BUCCANEERS OFFENSE - OVERALL (22), RUSH (30), PASS (16).
BUCCANEERS DEFENSE - OVERALL (4), RUSH (1), PASS (14).
PANTHERS OFFENSE - OVERALL (15), RUSH (18), PASS (11).
PANTHERS DEFENSE - OVERALL (17), RUSH (13), PASS (20).
STREAKS, STATS AND NOTES — The Buccaneers have won three of the past four meetings in the series between NFC South rivals. ...Buccaneers are coming off a 38-3 loss to the Saints, the most lopsided loss of QB Tom Brady's career. ... Brady is facing the Panthers on the road for the first time since Nov. 18, 2013, when he was with New England. The six-time Super Bowl champion is fourth in the NFL with 20 touchdown passes. It’s his league-record 18th season with 20-plus TDs. ... Bucs RB Leonard Fournette rushed for 103 yards and two TDs vs. Carolina in Week 2, clinching a 14-point victory with a 46-yard scoring burst with under two minutes remaining. ... WR Mike Evans has two 100-yard games this season, including a seven-catch, 104-yard, one TD performance against the Panthers. He has seven TDs, five on the road. ... Tampa Bay’s defense is ranked No. 1 against the run, allowing 75.3 yards per game. The Bucs also lead the NFL with 16 takeaways and are second with 29 sacks and 101 quarterback pressures. ... The Panthers have lost four straight following a 3-2 start. Panthers QB Teddy Bridgewater has lost four consecutive starts for the first time in his career. ... Panthers RB Christian McCaffrey returned from a six-week layoff to score two touchdowns against the Chiefs, but sustained a shoulder injury late in the fourth quarter and will not play against the Bucs. McCaffrey's injury problems started in the fourth quarter of a Week 2 loss to Bucs as the Panthers were attempting to make a comeback when he suffered a high ankle sprain. ... RB Mike Davis will start. Davis is second in the NFL in broken tackles with 24. ... The Panthers have attempted three fake punts this season, succeeding on two in the last two weeks. ... Carolina was 4 of 4 in scoring touchdowns in the red zone against the Chiefs. They are 8 of 9 in the red zone when McCaffrey is in the game and 10 of 21 when he's not. ... WR Curtis Samuel has four touchdowns in his last three games. ... WR Robby Anderson is fourth in the NFL in yards receiving (751) and tied for third in receptions (60). ... Panthers hope to get S Jeremy Chinn back this week after he missed last week with a knee injury. Chinn leads all rookies with 66 tackles. ... Fantasy tip: Bucs WR Chris Godwin has 29 receptions for 519 yards and two TDs in six career games against Carolina. He’s topped 100 yards the past three meetings.
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