4 key matchups to watch against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers

(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Christian McCaffrey
(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Christian McCaffrey /
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Carolina Panthers
(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Jeremy Chinn /

Jeremy Chinn vs. Rob Gronkowski

Despite the Carolina Panthers struggling on the defensive side of the ball in Week 1. They did have a bright spark emerge in the form of Jeremy Chinn.

The rookie earned a starting position at outside linebacker after a standout display at training camp. This was matched by a solid production on the field that left the Panthers’ fanbase in no doubt as to the former Southern Illinois star’s potential.

Chinn seemed to relish the prospect of NFL competition. He was always around the ball and more than held his own either stopping the run or from a coverage perspective.

This could see the first-year-pro come up against Rob Gronkowski consistently on Sunday. The prolific veteran was tempted out of retirement by Tom Brady to further boost the Bucs’ chances of a deep playoff run. But he was relatively quiet in his first outing, securing two receptions for just 11 yards.

Gronkowski should improve once he gets up to speed. But anyone that expected the player that made such an impact with the New England Patriots is going to be out of luck.

Chinn has all the athleticism and strength needed to thwart Gronkowski’s threat. There is also the possibility of the do-it-all defender moves over to O.J. Howard depending on which tight end is causing the most damage.