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Panthers vs. Buccaneers: TV Info, Spread, Injury Updates, Game Time and More

CHARLOTTE, NC - OCTOBER 20:  Cam Newton #1 of the Carolina Panthers reacts after teammate Steve Smith's 800th career touchdown during play against of the St. Louis Rams at Bank of America Stadium on October 20, 2013 in Charlotte, North Carolina. The Panthers won 30-15.  (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
Grant Halverson/Getty Images
Jesse ReedCorrespondent IOctober 22, 2013

It's a tale of two teams headed in opposite directions when the Carolina Panthers visit the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Thursday night.

Cam Newton has been playing the best football of his career the past two games for Carolina, and the Panthers have won both games as a result. 

After opening up the season with two straight losses, the Panthers have now won three of their last four contests.

The Buccaneers, on the other hand, are being led on a sinking ship by head coach Greg Schiano, who has just one win to his credit in his team's last 12 games. 

Heading into Week 8, Tampa Bay has a record of 0-6. But one big victory at home could be the spark that turns this season around. 

 

TAMPA, FL - SEPTEMBER 29: A fan of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers watches play against the Arizona Cardinals September 29, 2013 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. The Cardinals won 13 - 10. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

When: Thursday, Oct. 24, at 8:25 p.m. ET

Where: Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, Fla.

Watch: NFL Network

Live Stream: NFL Sunday Ticket

Betting Lines (via Covers) 

  • Over/Under: 40.5 pts.
  • Spread: Tampa Bay (+7)

 

Panthers Injury Report (via Panthers.com)

NAMEPOSITIONINJURYMON.TUE.WED.GAME STATUS
Blackburn, ChaseLBFootLPFPFPProbable
Edwards, DwanDTHamstringDNPDNPDNPQuestionable
Jones, ColinSNon-Injury-DNPDNPProbable
LaFell, BrandonWRKneeLPFPFPProbable
Lester, RobertSHamstringFPFPFPProbable
Olsen, GregTEFootLPFPFPProbable
Smith, SteveWRAnkle--LPProbable
Thomas, JoshCBIllness-DNPFPProbable

 

Buccaneers Injury Report (via Buccaneers.com)

NAMEPOSITIONINJURYMON.TUE.WED.GAME STATUS
Adams, MichaelCBKneeFPFP-Probable
Barron, MarkSHipLPFP-Probable
Bowers, Da'QuanDEToeFPFP-Probable
Crabtree, TomTEAnkleFPFP-Probable
Demps, JeffRBGroinOutOut-Out
Goldson, DashonSKneeLPLP-Questionable
Joseph, DavinGKneeFPFP-Probable
Martin, DougRBShoulderDNPDNP-Out
Nicks, CarlGFootOutOut-Out
Owusu, ChrisWRFootLPLP-Questionable
Spence, AkeemDLWristFPFP-Probable
Tandy, KeithSConcussionDNPLP-Probable
Williams, MikeWRHamstringFPLP-Questionable

 

Will Mike Glennon and Vincent Jackson Continue to Shine?

Oct 13, 2013; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Mike Glennon (left) greets wide receiver Vincent Jackson (right) after scoring a touchdown during the second quarter against the Philadelphia Eagles at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit:
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Tampa Bay features the league's second-worst scoring offense, averaging just 14.5 points per game.

Making matters worse for this team is the news that second-year running back Doug Martin was lost for the season with a torn labrum, as reported by NFL: AroundTheLeague:

But rookie quarterback Mike Glennon has sparked the Buccaneers' offense the past couple of weeks by regularly connecting with receiver Vincent Jackson. Since the team's bye week, they have combined on 19 receptions for 252 yards and four touchdowns. 

Glennon has the arm strength to take advantage of Jackson's big-play abilities, and they've already shown some impressive chemistry.

But things get tougher this Thursday night, as Carolina features the league's No. 3-ranked defense, allowing just 302.2 yards per game, and the league's No. 2-ranked scoring defense, allowing just 13.8 points per game. 

If Jackson has another huge game, then the Bucs could pull off an upset. 

 

Prediction

Oct 13, 2013; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Carolina Panthers fullback Mike Tolbert (35) celebrates a touchdown during the fourth quarter against the Minnesota Vikings at Mall of America Field at H.H.H. Metrodome. The Panthers defeated the Vikings 35-10. Mandator
Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sport

Carolina's defense is going to dominate Tampa Bay at the point of attack. Without the threat of a legitimate running game, the Buccaneers will be forced into a one-dimensional approach, which will only make matters worse.

Although Glennon and Jackson have connected with regularity the past two games for the Bucs, Tampa Bay's offensive line will be overmatched by the front seven of Carolina.

On offense, the Panthers have impressively utilized the running game to set up the pass this season, averaging 130.2 rushing yards per game. 

Provided Newton takes care of the football, this is a game Carolina should win. But anything can happen—especially for road teams on short rest.

 

Final Score 

Panthers win 24-17.

 

Follow me on Twitter @JesseReed78 

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