Carolina Panthers can meet fire with fire
Looking at both rosters, both the Carolina Panthers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers have differing advantages in various positional groups. But the personnel at Steve Wilks’ disposal ensures they can meet fire with fire in Week 17.
If the Panthers get out on the front foot, it should provide the spark needed. That can be accomplished by implementing the same smash-mouth, physical football that’s become synonymous with the franchise under Wilks.
Besting Tom Brady twice in the same season is something very few teams have accomplished throughout his two-decade stint in the league. The Buccaneers will be a completely different proposition on home soil, but they have failed to win this season when a team scores more than 20 points, which is a realistic target Carolina can aim for in this one.
Anything that comes next for Wilks and his players is a bonus, in all honesty. Playing with freedom, being efficient on third downs, and keeping composed in a high-pressure setting are the traits needed for the Panthers to thrive on the road.
This needs to be a collective effort. Carolina doesn’t have the luxury of passengers against a roster that’s largely similar to the one that secured Super Bowl success in 2020, so it’ll be interesting to see how the Panthers cope with their postseason fortunes hanging in the balance.
A challenge? Sure.
But the Panthers will be giving everything they have to extend what’s becoming one of the league’s biggest feel-good stories down the stretch.