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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

5 Buccaneers to Watch Against Carolina

A few Bucs to keep an eye on against the Panthers.

Pictures of the Top 10 Panthers in Week 4, according to their Pro Football Focus player grade.

1. RB Jacquizz Rodgers
While Doug Martin has been recovering from a hamstring injury, the Buccaneers have turned to Charles Sims to handle the majority of their carries. But Sims struggled in Week 4, averaging just 1.87 yards per attempt. Head Coach Dirk Koetter acknowledged that there needed to be a change in the Bucs' rushing attack, and with Martin and Sims both listed as doubtful for Monday's game, Rodgers could be the team's go-to back. He's had just 13 carries in the past three weeks, but averages 5.3 yards per rush.

2. DE Howard Jones
After recording five sacks a year ago, Jones has been relatively quiet. The Buccaneers have lost several defensive ends due to injury, including losing Jacquies Smith and George Johnson with season-ending injuries, so Jones has had an opportunity to see increased playing time. Despite the higher number of reps, he has just two tackles and has yet to record a sack. Jones' strong suit is rushing the passer, and the Panthers' offensive line has struggled at times throughout their first four games. Week 5 could be the game Jones breaks out.


Pictures of the Panthers' starting offense and defense, according to the team's depth chart.

  1. CB Brent Grimes**
    Grimes regularly finds himself matched up against opposing teams' top receivers and had at least two opportunities for interceptions a week ago in the Bucs' loss to the Broncos. If the Panthers continue to throw at Grimes, he's proven capable of being in the position to make big plays.

4. TE Cameron Brate
The Buccaneers could be without three of the four tight ends that they began the season with when they take the field against the Panthers in Week 5. Luke Stocker and Brandon Myers are recovering from injuries, and Austin Seferian-Jenkins has been released, so Brate has taken the majority of reps at tight end. He has been an important part of the Bucs' offense, being targeted 25 times. Comparatively, he was thrown at 30 times all of last season. He is second on the team in first down receptions and touchdown catches, trailing Mike Evans. 

For the Buccaneers to be successful on Monday, Winston will need to protect the football. The Bucs have turned the ball over 11 times while taking it away just twice, which gives them the second-worst turnover ratio in the league. Tampa Bay's defense performed well in Week 4 against the Broncos, but Denver scored 17 of their 27 points off of turnovers. If the Bucs win the turnover battle, they should be able to compete with the defending conference champions.

A look back at all of the match-ups between the Buccaneers and the Panthers.

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