Prediction: Carolina Panthers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Today the Carolina Panthers visit the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for the second NFL South matchup of their 2017 season. At first glance, this is not a “must win” game for the the 4-3 Panthers. However, a deeper look indicates it very well may be.

Should the Carolina Panthers lose today, it will be three consecutive losses. In each year under head coach Ron Rivera, whenever the Panthers lost three straight they have finished the season with losing records. So a loss today would be a big indicator that sad times lay ahead for all Carolina Panthers fans.

But let us not dwell on that possibility. The game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers today is more than winnable for the Panthers should the offense actually decide to play this week.

This game won’t come down to the Buccaneers offense or the Panthers defense. Both of those units are top notch and cancel each other out for the most part. For my money this game will be decided when the lowly Panthers offense faces the 31st ranked Buccaneers defense. Whichever unit is less awful today will win. The Bucs are thin in the secondary today, which plays to the strength of the Carolina Panthers offense. The Panthers should be able to score.

As such, I am going with the Carolina Panthers to win this game. It would take a coaching failure of monumental proportions for a Panthers team with this much talent to drop three straight games. I refuse to believe Ron Rivera and company are this bad.

However, should the Panthers actually lose today, it likely means a losing season is ahead once again. And if that is the case, we won’t have to wonder about this coaching staff much longer.

Prediction: 

Panthers – 27

Bucs – 10

Agree? Disagree? You can sound off right here with thousands of Carolina Panthers fans.

Jeremy Igo is owner of Carolina Huddle. Based in Charlotte, he has covered the Carolina Panthers for over a decade.