Who: Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-4) vs. Carolina Panthers (2-7)
When: Sunday, 11/18 at 1 PM
Where: Bank of America Stadium
Radio: WFUS 103.5 FM/ WDAE 620 AM
Last Meeting: These two division rivals met opening day with the Bucs earning a hard-fought 16-10 win. Running back Doug Martin rushed for 95 yards in his first game and the defense allowed a franchise-low 10 rushing yards to the Panthers' dangerous running attack.
Key Matchup on Offense:
RB Doug Martin vs. LB Luke Kuechly – This should be an exciting one-on-one matchup between these two talented rookies. Martin has been nearly unstoppable as of late and he's third in the NFL with 862 rushing yards and seven touchdowns. Trying to slow him down will be Kuechly, who is third in the league with 87 tackles. The Bucs want to pound the rock to setup the play-action passing game, and to keep the ball out of Cam Newton's hands. Martin will have to run hard and avoid Kuechly, who's tasked with slowing Martin before he hits the second level of defenders.
Key Matchup on Defense:
Tampa Bay's cornerbacks vs. WR Steve Smith – It used to be Aqib Talib that would shadow Smith up and down the field. Now that he is in New England, the Bucs will have to try and find someone else to slow Smith down. It could be Eric Wright, E.J. Biggers, or Leonard Johnson. The Bucs will likely throw different defenders at Smith to see who plays the long-time superstar the best. With Carolina's running game struggling lately, expect Smith, who has 39 catches for 649 yards, to be a major part of their game-plan.
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