The Buccaneers (4-10) finish their road schedule on Sunday with a 1:00 p.m. matchup against the Panthers (10-4). Here, we preview the game and tell you where to watch and listen to it.
On Sunday, the injury-plagued Buccaneers are on the road for the final time this season. The Panthers await, needing a victory or tie in the game to clinch a playoff spot. Tampa Bay, of course, has nothing to play for. Dirk Koetter could be coaching for his job, though, as his team is 4-10 despite high expectations heading into the season. The Bucs fell flat after a huge offseason and now have a top ten draft pick to look forward to instead of a playoff game.
Tampa Bay is coming off one of its best performances in the season, although it came in a loss.
More from The Pewter Plank
- Devin White posts cryptic message to Lavonte David on Twitter
- ESPN predicts surprising outcome to Devin White trade saga
- Updated Buccaneers depth chart after signing two players from rookie minicamp
- Todd Bowles sends clear message about Baker Mayfield’s role with Bucs
- The Athletic is wrong about Bucs one ‘must-watch’ game in 2023
The Bucs fell 24-21 to the Falcons on Monday Night Football, playing a tight game even after losing ten players to injuries during the game. Jameis Winston looked spectacular, completing 27 of his 35 passes for 299 yards, three touchdowns and no turnovers. There were almost some late-game heroics from the Bucs, as Winston got the offense down the field to set up for a game-tying field goal. Instead, a referee fell down while trying to spot the ball. That led to a rushed 54-yard attempt by Patrick Murray that went wide. The loss was Tampa Bay’s fourth in a row.
Carolina is fresh off a 31-24 win over Green Bay last Sunday. Cam Newton was impressive, throwing for 242 touchdowns and four touchdowns. Rookie Christian McCaffrey had his best game of the season, rushing for 63 yards on 12 carries while catching six passes for 73 yards and a touchdown. The defense picked off a returning Aaron Rodgers three times and racked up three sacks. Carolina has won six of its last seven games and currently sits in a tie with New Orleans atop the NFC South.
As mentioned before, injuries are a huge problem for the Bucs heading into Sunday. Robert Ayers (shoulder) and DeSean Jackson (ankle) are both ruled out in addition to five players that were placed on injured reserve this week. Justin Evans, Adarius Glanton, Vernon Hargreaves, O.J. Howard and J.R. Sweezy are all done for the season. Cameron Brate (hip/knee), Gerald McCoy (bicep), Lavonte David (hamstring) and Ryan Russell (shoulder) are all questionable for Sunday’s game.
Carolina is led by its defense week in and week out. The Panthers are fifth in total defense, eleventh against the pass and fifth against the run. The Bucs are far worse. Tampa Bay is 31st in total defense, dead last against the pass and 23rd against the run. As far as total offense goes, the Bucs (eleventh) are actually ranked ahead of the Panthers (seventeenth).
The last time these two teams met was in week eight. The Panthers beat the Bucs 17-3 at Raymond James Stadium. Tampa Bay outgained Carolina 279-254, but turned the ball over three times. The Panthers lead the all-time series 21-13, with a 10-7 advantage at home.
Where to Watch
FOX will televise Sunday’s game. Kenny Albert (play-by-play), Ronde Barber (color commentary) and Kristina Pink (sideline) will have the call.
Where to Listen
As usual, fans in the Tampa Bay area can listen to the game on 98Rock (97.9 FM). Gene Deckerhoff will have the play-by-play. He is joined by Dave Moore (commentary) and T.J. Rives (sideline). For other radio options around Florida, check here. Buccaneers.com and the Buccaneers mobile app will also air the broadcast.
Satellite radio subscribers can hear the Tampa Bay broadcast on XM Internet 829. The Carolina broadcast is on XM 228.
For in-game and postgame coverage of Sunday’s game, follow @ThePewterPlank on Twitter.
"The return of the Walking the Plank Podcast, with new hosts Bailey Adams and Zach Sauers!"