Yes, Bucs could lose to Carolina, too

by Gary Shelton on September 20, 2020

in general

David and his team must stop McCafferty./TIM WIRT

Saturday, 1 a.m.

The different is in the perspective.

A week ago, you didn't see any way the Tampa Bay Bucs could lose. This week, you can see a thousand ways.

What if Tom Brady is mortal again? What if the team can't overcome Chris Godwin's absence? What if Carolina quarterback Teddy Bridgewater is as efficient as he was when he quarterbacked the Saints in a backup role last season? What if the secondary is leaky? What if the offensive line is made up of matadors again? What if the team doesn't protect the football? What if the running game is average? What if penalties continue to haunt this team.

Yeah, they could lose. Again. And their world could spin out of control.

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That would drain most of the air out of the balloon, wouldn't it? As hyped as these Bucs were, to be 0-2 would be disastrous. But the Panthers aren't dreadful -- not with Christian McCafferty in the backfield.

The guess here is that the Bucs win. Don't forget how talented the New Orleans Saints are. Brady should get an extra beat to throw the ball. The holes should be a bit wider. Bridgewater isn't Drew Brees.

Expect the Bucs to struggle early, however, then pull away in the second half.

Prediction: Tampa Bay 24, Carolina 19.

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