This Sunday at 4:25, The Buccaneers will kickoff their season under a new Head Coach Greg Schiano. The Bucs will welcome Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers to Raymond James Stadium to open up the 2012 NFL season.
Everybody now has a fresh start and that is exactly what the Buccaneers needed. Anything can happen in week one and I expect the Bucs to come out with a vengeance against Cam Newton, who torched the Bucs for a total of eight touchdowns in two games.
Newton took advantage of a team that had was depleted with injuries and had already given up on the season. The Bucs will come out hot but it they must do a superb job of keeping him in the pocket and forcing him to beat the Bucs defense with his arm rather than his legs.
The Panthers running game could be without Jonathon Stewart but in all honesty they might not miss a beat due to it being week one and DeAngelo Williams can handle more carries. The Panthers also added Mike Tolbert, a powerful running back, and of course will use Cam Newton in read options and other designed Quarterback running plays.
This is the first test of the 2012 season for Aqib Talib as he will take on Steve Smith. Smith only caught three balls for 41 yards in both of last years contest. Smith also missed some time in pre-season due to an infection in his foot but it doesn’t seem serious. If Talib can shut down number 89 for the Panthers, then Eric Wright and company must play up to par to keep up with the Panthers receivers, who aren’t exactly slouches.
On Offense, The Buccaneers offensive line should hold steady against this Panthers defensive line. If the Bucs can keep Freeman from running around the pocket and get to the second level on rushing plays, then the Bucs will be successful.
For the Bucs, game one starts at the offensive line and ends with the defense. We must keep our offense on the field and be able to get the ball into our playmakers hands to win this game and I believe the Bucs will do so. On defense, we must contain Cam Newton and force him to throw the ball more than he wants.
The Bucs will start Schiano’s NFL coaching career off with a win. I think it will be a close one with a score of 27-24 in the Buccaneers favor.
About the Author
Written by Andrew Chibani
Sports control my life. I am a recent Sports Management graduate from University of Tampa and an alumni of Jesuit High School here in Tampa.