5 key Panthers matchups to watch vs. the Bucs in Week 10

(Photo by David Eulitt/Getty Images) Curtis Samuel
(Photo by David Eulitt/Getty Images) Curtis Samuel /
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Carolina Panthers
(Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports) Curtis Samuel /

Curtis Samuel vs. Jamel Dean

Curtis Samuel is becoming one of the hottest wide receivers in football. His influence is growing with every passing game and how he performs against the Buccaneers will go a long way to determining whether the Carolina Panthers can come away with a morale-boosting win.

The absence of Christian McCaffrey only increases the need for Samuel to continue his outstanding run of form. He possesses a rare dual-threat ability that might be a very hot commodity on the free-agent market if Carolina lets things get that far.

If the former second-round pick wants to make his presence felt in Week 10, he’ll need to get the better of his potential matchup with Jamel Dean. The second-year-pro has been in sensational form this season and his athleticism makes the player a perfect candidate to deal with Samuel’s elusiveness.

Carolina has so many weapons in the passing game that Dean might also see some time covering the likes of Robby Anderson and D.J. Moore during the game. He has given up 25 receptions from 43 balls thrown his way this season to secure an impressive 76.1 grade from Pro Football Focus, but the Auburn product needs to be at his best to cope with Samuel given the form he’s in at the moment.