NFL picks and predictions, Buccaneers vs. Panthers 2014: Experts favor Carolina
Despite Cam Newton missing this game due to injury, experts think the Panthers will best the Buccaneers on Sunday.
The Carolina Panthers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers are both sporting losing records, but so is the rest of the NFC South. The Panthers were one of the top teams in the NFL a season ago, and they were competing with the New Orleans Saints throughout the season. The Atlanta Falcons and Buccaneers both struggled all year.
Now, the Panthers are still competing with the Saints and the Falcons are still struggling, but the circumstances only remain the same for the Buccaneers. The Panthers, Saints and Falcons are fighting for the lead in the NFL’s worst division, the NFC South.
Atlanta and New Orleans are tied for the division lead at 5-8 on the season, but the Panthers kept themselves in the discussion with a dominant 41-10 victory over the Saints in Week 14. They’re sitting at 4-8-1 on the season with this game and a Week 17 tilt against the Falcons still on the schedule. The big issue is the fact that they’ll be without quarterback Cam Newton as a result of his car crash earlier in the week.
Newton has been struggling this year, but he had his biggest game of the season against the Saints. Newton threw for 226 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions, and added another 83 yards and a touchdown on the ground in that game. The Panthers will turn to Derek Anderson, though they may have to rely on Jonathan Stewart running the football to win.
Over at ESPN, the experts aren’t exactly split on the game, as 10 of the 13 experts went with the Panthers. Seven of the eight experts picking for CBS Sports are also going with Carolina. Five of the six over at FOX Sports think the Panthers will survive without Newton.
As far as SB Nation’s own experts are concerned, it’s nearly unanimous, with Matt Ufford and the OddsShark Computer being the lone dissenters picking the Buccaneers.
|Ryan Van Bibber||Stephen White||Joel Thorman||David Fucillo||Danny Kelly||PFT Commenter||Matt Ufford||OddsShark Computer|
|TB @ CAR||CAR||CAR||CAR||CAR||CAR||CAR||TB||TB|