Just a few days ago I was tutoring my friend in some simple math. It was mostly basic algebra. There was this equation that has stuck with me the past week and I think it really summarizes this game quickly.
y = m(x) + b
This is the slope-intercept form. In these problems, I found myself having to figure out what “y” was. You find “y” by plugging in numbers for “x”. So I knew what “x” was, but “y” remained a mystery until I solved for it. In this late afternoon game on Sunday we know what “x” is. Carolina boasts a top 3 rushing attack, a quarterback hell bent on becoming elite and taking his team to the playoffs, a veteran receiver playing with more urgency than ever in his career as father time creeps further and further up on him, and an energized offense that looks its absolute best in Carolina’s history (yes, this includes the Super Bowl team). But, what will “y” be? How will Tampa Bay respond to this rushing attack? This aerial attack? Will they contain Cam Newton? Or be crucified by him? Will “y” be a negative number or a positive one? This Sunday, we find out. Here are 3 things to watch for in this game.
1. Carolina’s Rushing Attack
For you Godzilla fan’s, you remember this old dude. King Ghidorah was always flying in from space trying to wreck havoc on Tokyo and ruin Godzilla’s day in general. He was a golden, three-headed monster, who spit lightning bolts out his throat. Pretty scary stuff, just like Carolina’s backfield. Behind C Ryan Kalil the Panthers have Cam Newton, Mike Tolbert, and DeAngelo Williams. I would’ve posted a picture of Mecha-King Ghidorah if Jonathon Stewart wasn’t questionable for Sunday’s game. Still, it goes without saying, this backfield is deadly and I consider it the best in the league. They go up against a defense that ranked dead last against the run last year.
2. New Kids on the Block
This Bucs team looks plenty different from last year. New additions include offensive starters Vincent Jackson, Carl Nicks, Doug Williams, and Dallas Clark. On the defensive side of the ball new starters Mark Barron, Lavonte David, Ronde Barber (well, it’s technically his 200th start… but first in the Safety position), and Eric Wright will try to improve one of the worst defenses in the league.
As simple and obvious as this sounds, the Bucs need to stay healthy this whole season and need to avoid serious injury in this game (and 15 others). I know injuries are just the product of physics, football, and fate, but the fact of the matter is the Bucs are pencil thin at every position and the season ending injury of Davin Joseph did not help matters one bit. If any player in any position suffers a serious set back it will cataclysmic for this Buc team.
In conclusion, as a responsible blogger and aspiring sports analyst I can’t predict a Buccaneer victory. I want my pirates to make the kitty kats walk the plank, but I don’t see it happening. At least not until I know what “y” is. So here we go:
Carolina Panthers: 30
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 21
Enjoy college game day… and oh, what the hell, here is a picture of Mecha-King Ghidorah
About the Author
Written by Daniel Stewart
I have worshiped Buccaneer football since the age I was collecting Pokemon cards.