Panthers predictions: How will Week 16 against the Buccaneers unfold?

We’re headed into this presumed slaughter in much better shape than the Carolina Panthers are. While they may have fallen, 31-14, to the Buffalo Bills last Sunday, our predictions triumphed at an 8-2 mark in the defeat.

Let’s keep it pounding.

Panthers lose coin toss

Our coveted coin-toss record is back in play this week. Can we go 9-0 by siding against the Panthers for a second straight game?

Panthers score on their first drive

Yeah, how about that? Quarterback Cam Newton adds at least one more memorable moment to the bank in what could be his final home game as a Panther. He leads the offense down for, let’s say, a touchdown pass to wideout Robby Anderson.

And the Buccaneers do not

We’ll keep the excitement at Bank of America Stadium going. After lighting up the scoreboard, the Panthers turn Tom Brady and the hobbled Bucs offense away. No Mike Evans, no Chris Godwin, no Leonard Fournette—no dice . . . for now.

They do, however, score on their second drive

After getting his feet wet with his depleted set of weapons, Brady finds the end zone. He connects with his boy Rob Gronkowski inside the red zone.

Panthers keep it a one-score game at the half

Many, of course, are predicting a pretty smooth afternoon for the Bucs. But it won’t be. Carolina takes them into a close, one-possession game at the break.

Cam Newton finishes with the most snaps at QB

Head coach Matt Rhule said on Tuesday that he’ll start Newton in a “major role” and then bring a returning Sam Darnold in “at some point.” That’s the most detail we’ve gotten about this plan, which is assuredly another questionable one. What isn’t questionable, though, is that the Panthers faithful will have garbage ready to pelt Rhule with if he somehow shuns Cam here.

Sam Darnold finishes without a turnover

We’ll give Sammy boy the benefit of the doubt. Plus, if we’re forecasting less than half of the snaps for him, his chances to add to his 13 turnovers are not as great. But Darnold could, as he often does, amaze us in all the wrong ways.

Robby Anderson finishes as the team’s leading receiver

Carolina’s top wideout DJ Moore will be a game-time decision with his strained hamstring, so he may not go. Regardless, Anderson—who sang the praises of Newton in tremendous detail this Thursday—works off the added chemistry and gets himself to at least the 75-yard mark.

Tom Brady finishes with under 225 passing yards

As we’ve referenced, this offense could struggle a bit on the afternoon without its three most valuable weapons. Additionally, the Panthers did themselves pretty well against Josh Allen last week, limiting the Bills’ star to just 210 passing yards.

Panthers lose

Yet, that still won’t be enough to pull off the upset. This will be closer than most think, but the defending champs hold off Carolina for Brady’s first career victory over a Newton-led team.


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