The Buccaneers are in a must-win affair this weekend against the run-heavy Panthers. They need both of their run-stoppers healthy.
Stopping the run hasn’t exactly been a priority in the pass-heavy version of the modern NFL, but that is exactly what the Buccaneers will need to do this weekend against the Panthers in a game that could win the NFC South for the team in pewter and red.
The Panthers are far from the norm in the league right now on offense. After shifting between several quarterbacks, Carolina has found a niche as a team that runs the ball as well as anyone while also playing very good defense. This was seen clearly in their game last weekend.
The Panthers are coming off a performance where they accounted for 320 yards on the ground in a win over the Lions. If the Bucs hope to escape this game with a win, they’ll need Vita Vea and Akiem Hicks on the field to slow that rushing attack down.
Hicks and Vea are a dominant duo together, but injuries have made it so that we only have a few games this season where the pair are able to take control of games.
The games tend to take a different turn when one or both aren’t on the field.
The stats speak for themselves.
If the Buccaneers want to go up against one of the hottest rushing attacks in the league and come out with a win, this game will need both of Tampa’s pass-stuffing stars on the field.
That might be a tall order given the rampant injuries that have impacted both players, but the good news right now is that it seems like the Bucs may go into this game with their healthiest roster all season.
Hopefully nothing on that end changes before tomorrow.
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