Carolina Panthers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers Free NFL Picks & Week 1 Odds
by Tony Sink - 9/1/2014
Sunday, September 7, 2014
Raymond James Stadium in Tampa
For Updated Odds on This Game Click Here
In the National Football Conference South division, the team at the top a year ago was the Carolina Panthers. Led by Cam Newton, the Panthers finished the season with a 12-4 record and finished ahead of the New Orleans Saints by a game. This year, the Panthers will get a chance to jump out ahead of the rest of the division when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers welcome them to Raymond James Stadium. Both teams had many changes to their rosters in the offseason, but who ends up with a 1-0 record following the conclusion of week 1 remains to be seen.
Last year, Newton showed the NFL world that he was ready to be a leader and had matured since being drafted by the Panthers with the first overall pick in 2011. Since entering the league, Newton has gone 25-23 as a starter and is coming off the best season of his career. He threw for 3,379 yards and 24 touchdowns, while also adding 585 yards and 6 touchdowns on the ground. This year, he will be without Steve Smith for the first time since he came into the league, but will still have players like DeAngelo Williams, Mike Tolbert, Greg Olsen, and rookie Kelvin Benjamin to play with.
This week 1 game will be the first for the new head coach, Lovie Smith, who took a year off from coaching after heading the Chicago Bears from 2004 to 2012. The Buccaneers aren't being predicted to do much this season, but this game will show them and the NFL how good they could be. With Josh McCown under center and Doug Martin the backfield, the Buccaneers already had some talent on the offensive side of the ball. Add in their wide receiver unit featuring Vincent Jackson and rookie Mike Evans, and the team could be full of surprises this season.
Injuries to Watch
08/28/14 QB Derek Anderson Hand injured last game, questionable Sunday vs. Tampa Bay
08/25/14 QB Cam Newton Ribs questionable Sunday vs. Tampa Bay
08/25/14 TE Greg Olsen Personal out indefinitely
07/27/14 G Edmund Kugbila Back out for season
07/27/14 DE Frank Alexander Suspension expected to miss weeks 1-4 of regular season
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
08/19/14 RB Mike James Shoulder out indefinitely
08/16/14 RB Charles Sims Ankle out indefinitely
Tony's Pick: Take Tampa Bay
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