These two NFC South teams are very familiar with each other not only because they play in the same division, but because they faced off less than a month ago in Week Two. The Buccaneers emerged victorious in the Thursday Night primetime matchup behind a big-time goal-line stand at the last second in which they stopped running back Christian McCaffrey short of the line of gain on fourth down. They held McCaffrey to just 37 yards on the ground in total and will look to do the same thing this week.
They'll be facing a different player under center though, with Kyle Allen in for the injured Cam Newton. Allen presents a few different challenges for the Bucs but the Bucs aren't exactly the same team they were a few weeks ago, either. Take a look at what the Panthers are saying ahead of the game on Sunday in London's Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
“As deceiving as Tampa Bay’s reputation may be this season, their run defense is the real deal, ranking third in the league in rushing yards allowed.
‘This is a good defense,” guard Greg Van Roten said. “They’re no joke. They play really well, they’re fast, they’re aggressive, agile. They’re kind of scary to look at up front, honestly.’”
“-The Panthers are one of the NFL's top rushing offenses, averaging 143.6 yards per game on the ground (4th) and 5.61 yards per carry (1st).
-Tampa Bay sports the league's best run defense, giving up just 3.12 yards per carry and 69.8 yards per game. The Buccaneers were the only team to hold Christian McCaffrey under 100 scrimmage yards this season. However, the Buccaneers rank last in the NFL in pass defense, allowing 323.6 yards per game through the air.”
Panthers Head Coach Ron Rivera:
“My anticipation is you go back and look at what [the Bucs] have done in those three weeks and things they’ve changed and you do anticipate changing. You do anticipate them looking at some of the opponent’s we’ve played have done against us as well and you could see them try to add those things to what they do.”
Panthers QB Kyle Allen:
“I don’t know if there’s much difference. I think if you play them after a longer period of time, they may have different players in there because of injury and their scheme may have changed up because they may have been playing bad or good. I think there’s a million different variables you can look at but at this point, you look at the tape that you have. You look at how they have adjusted to different offenses and you just go from there.”