Bold predictions for the Carolina Panthers as they go in search of a final day victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 18.
The Carolina Panthers must dust themselves off following a shutout loss at the Jacksonville Jaguars and put together one last rousing effort to ensure their fans have something to cheer heading into the offseason. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have much more on the line - one victory stands between them and an NFL South championship - so the stakes couldn't be much higher in pursuit of the postseason.
Playing the spoiler role is again falling on the Panthers in this one. With just two wins to show for their efforts this season, there must be a sense of personal pride before a period of uncertainty officially begins. Most fans are already eagerly awaiting what comes next, but the players need to show some fight despite the odds being stacked against them.
Not many will remember the 2023 season with any great fondness. The offseason optimism disintegrated quickly, replaced by more misery and underachievement during what is widely regarded as one of the worst collective campaigns in franchise history.
We are almost - perhaps mercifully - at the finishing line. For the last time this season, here are three bold Panthers predictions for Week 18 versus the Buccaneers.
Derrick Brown smashes NFL record with 10 tackles
The strides made by Derrick Brown this season represent one of the few bright spots to emerge from another season of abject failure. His consistency, dominance, and ability to make his presence felt on almost every down have been remarkable to watch. If all goes well for the defensive lineman against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, his name could enter the NFL history books.
Brown needs four tackles to break the single-season record for a defensive tackle. He's four away from reaching triple figures. This would be an exceptional accomplishment in the circumstances. One that makes his Pro Bowl snub all the more bemusing.
The former first-round pick will be more motivated than most. With this in mind, we're tipping Brown to end on a high by smashing the record thanks to a 10-tackle display.