It is finally upon us Cat Crave Nation. Opening weekend for the Carolina Panthers, and that means a road game in humid Tampa Bay against our divisional foe.
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From Steve Smith being released, to the signing of Stephen Hill, it has been an offseason chocked full of goodies. We have to wait until 4:25PM to watch the boys in Panther blue take the field, but it will be well worth it. The weather is calling for a chance of thunderstorms and a sticky 90-degree day, so let’s hope the conservative practices don’t come back to bite them.
Cam Newton‘s status is still unknown so look for a heavy dose of the run game. This should be quite a defensive battle as both teams’ strengths are found here.
Last time the Panthers travelled to Raymond James Stadium, they were victorious over the Buccaneers, 31-13 in 2013. Carolina holds a 16-11 all-time record over their sunshine-state opponent, and an 8-5 record in Tampa.
The Bucs are looking to avenge last season’s sweep by the Panthers and kick off the Lovie Smith-era on a positive note. The return of running back Doug Martin and the addition of the towering-rookie Mike Evans will be the obstacles standing in front of the Panthers’ defense.
Ron Rivera is winless in three season openers and will need to right this wrong in order to start the Panthers’ season off correctly. Initially, this looks like a low-scoring affair due to two stout defenses.
Without further adieu, let’s set the stage for the Season Opener:
Sunday 7 September 2014 - 4:25 PM
Teams: Carolina Panthers (0-0) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-0) Spread: Carolina +1 Location: Raymond James Stadium
90°/79° - 60% Chance of Thunderstorms TV Coverage: FOX46 in Charlotte FOX throughout the Carolinas NFL RedZone
Announcers: Chris Myers Ronde Barber Radio Coverage: Carolina Panthers Radio Network Sirius XM Channel 136 NFL Live Stream: Watch NFL Live