The Tampa Bay Buccaneers lost their hold on first place in the NFC South with a 38-3 Sunday night loss to the New Orleans Saints in Week Nine, completing the Saints' season sweep, but will get another crack at a division opponent in Week 10. In fact, the Buccaneers will go for their own sweep in Charlotte as they take on the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium on Sunday, November 15. Kickoff is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. ET.
The game will be a rematch of Tampa Bay's Week Two 31-17 win at Raymond James Stadium. Carlton Davis and Jordan Whitehead provided key interceptions and running backs Leonard Fournette and Ronald Jones II combined for three touchdowns as the Bucs won for the first time with Tom Brady at the helm.
The Buccaneers will be trying to post their first season sweep of the Panthers since 2016. A win on Sunday would improve Tampa Bay to 2-2 in the division with two games remaining against the Atlanta Falcons. The contest is the only afternoon game for the Bucs in a four-week stretch as they will follow the trip to Charlotte with another Monday Night Football contest against the visiting Los Angeles Rams in Week 11.
The Bucs will try to keep pace in the division after the Saints took over first place with a dominating victory in front of a national audience on Sunday. That improved New Orleans to 6-2 on the season while the Buccaneers fell to 6-3. Meanwhile, the Panthers lost to the Chiefs in Kansas City in Week Nine, their fourth defeat in a row, and fell to 3-6.
Though the Panthers narrowly failed to upset the defending Super Bowl Champions at Arrowhead Stadium, they did welcome superstar running back Christian McCaffrey back into the mix after he had missed six games due to an ankle injury he suffered against the Buccaneers in Week Two. Unsurprisingly, McCaffrey made an immediate impact, putting up 151 yards from scrimmage and two touchdowns as the Panthers lost, 33-31, only after Joey Slye's 67-yard field goal attempt sailed wide right as time expired. McCaffrey will be trying to crack the only defense that has been able to significantly limit his productivity over the past two seasons. In the 18 games in which McCaffrey has played since the start of 2019 he has surpassed 100 yards of scrimmage in 14 of them. The exceptions are a 98-yard game against the Saints and his three meetings with the Buccaneers, in which he has averaged 62.7 yards from scrimmage.
Tampa Bay's offense got a player back from injury in Week Nine, as well, as wide receiver Chris Godwin played and caught three passes for 41 yards after missing one game with a fractured right index finger. Godwin did not play in the Week Two game against Carolina due to a concussion. The Buccaneers' offense also saw the Week Nine debut of wide receiver Antonio Brown, who hauled in three throws for 31 yards. Tampa Bay will be looking to get Brown and Godwin even more involved in the passing attack as the former gets more familiar in the offense and the latter gets healthier.
Most of all, though, the Buccaneers will look to get back on track after a surprisingly rough loss to the Saints. At 6-3, Tampa Bay is very much in the thick of the NFC playoff hunt with seven games to go.