Buccaneers: Christian McCaffrey out means a Tampa Bay win

Christian McCaffrey
Christian McCaffrey /

Buccaneers win if the Panthers don’t have their best playmaker

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will take on the Carolina Panthers this weekend and the best playmaker for Carolina is expected to be out with an injury.

The Buccaneers defeated the Panthers the last time the two teams matched up back in Week 2 and now Carolina will be looking for revenge, but without their best player again.

Christian McCaffrey, who was injured against the Bucs in Week 2, missed several weeks with a high ankle sprain before returning last week. Unfortunately, he injured his shoulder late in the game and is listed as ‘doubtful’ on the injury report for Sunday’s matchup with the Buccaneers.

It may be too oversimplified, but the overarching feeling is that Tampa Bay wins this game without McCaffrey on the field.

The Buccaneers just have too much talent to lose to the Panthers without their best playmaker

There’s no doubting that the Panthers have some young talent, but there’s also a sizeable gap between them and the Bucs.

McCaffrey, in many ways, is that great equalizer. Because of what he’s been able to do out of the backfield and in the passing game, he has consistently kept Carolina in games in the past that it wouldn’t have even been competitive without him.

In his first week back since the injury, McCaffrey totaled 151 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns against the Chiefs and the Panthers almost stole one, ultimately losing 33-31. With him not on the field, though, the Panthers have scored more than 30 points just one time and that was against the Cardinals- a 31-21 victory- earlier in the season.

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It’s not to say that players like Teddy Bridgewater, Curtis Samuel and Robby Anderson can’t provide difficulties for the Bucs, but it is to say that Tampa Bay should really like its chances at scoring more than 30 points and holding the Panthers to less than 30 with McCaffrey not on the field.