Buccaneers 2017 season preview: Game predictions
By Zain Ahmed
Week 8: vs Carolina Panthers, 1:00 PM
In the first divisional matchup of the season, The Bucs will host the Carolina Panthers. The Bucs swept the Panthers last season, both wins by very small margins. The Panthers suffered through a Super Bowl hangover, posting a 6-10 record last year and finishing last in the NFC South. There wasn’t a Bucs fan on the planet that was unhappy about that, am I right?
Carolina never stays down for long, so it would not be surprising to see them bounce back this season. The Panthers addressed their offensive needs this offseason to give 2015 MVP Cam Newton with some weapons and protection. Christian McCaffrey saw his stock rise continuously through the draft process, so he will be one to watch. Can Cam return to his old self? The Bucs will have a tough opponent on their hands if he does.
Tampa appears to be the better team overall, but division games tend to be very competitive. Rex Ryan always told his team that they were worth 1.5 games and he is essentially right. They are so important that they take on added competitiveness. In the end, I believe Cam Newton and the Panthers will race out to a quick lead but the Bucs will recover and win the game.