4 reasons the Carolina Panthers can beat the Buccaneers in Week 17

(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Yetur Gross-Matos
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Yetur Gross-Matos /
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Carolina Panthers
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Carolina Panthers have nothing to lose

When the Carolina Panthers fired Matt Rhule and traded Christian McCaffrey to the San Francisco 49ers, many saw this as waving the white flag en route to securing the No. 1 overall selection in 2023. However, interim head coach Steve Wilks had other ideas.

The turnaround under his leadership has been a refreshing change of pace. Something that sees the Panthers playing meaningful football after Thanksgiving for the first time in years.

In a weird way, this takes the pressure off. Carolina is playing with house money given their predicament earlier this season, which piles all the pressure on Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during Sunday’s crucial NFC South title showdown.

Sure, there are increased expectations surrounding the Panthers these days. But that doesn’t compare to the seven-time Super Bowl winner, who came back following a brief retirement only to potentially find himself on the outside looking in when the knockout stage commences.

Brady’s been in do-or-die situations such as this on countless occasions throughout his glittering career. Even though that’s not the case for most occupying roster positions in Carolina, this naivety could stand them in good stead with playoff aspirations on the line at Raymond James Stadium.

The possibility of Carolina crumbling cannot be ruled out. But they have nothing to lose or fear this weekend.