Panthers Prep For NFC South Showdown Against Buccaneers

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - At one point, The 2017 4-1 Carolina Panthers looked like the team similar to 2015, that made it all the way the Super Bowl, before falling to the Denver Broncos.

But fast forward to week 8 of this season, and now the Panthers are back in the middle of the NFC South struggling mightily with their running game.

Carolina rushed for more than 100 yards in the first three of four games, but in the previous three, have eclipsed 100 only once. But if you want to look at the good news, if you want to call it that, is running the football has been even more difficult for the Buccaneers, who rank 30th in rush offense (the Panthers rank 21st).

While Cam Newton has yet to find a consistent groove with his team 7 weeks into the season. Against the Patriots and Lions in Weeks 4 and 5, Newton looked like his former MVP self – throwing for more than 300 yards and three touchdowns in each game. But in his last two games, he's thrown five interceptions.

If the Panthers want any shot to creep back up the NFC South standings, Newton will have to revert back to the play he is capable of, while the Panther defense will need to contain Buccaneer's Jameis Winston and Mike Evans.

Tampa Bay leads the NFL in passing offense, and will rely on this part of their game to snap their 3-game losing skid and bring life back to a team that didn't expect to be in this deep of a hole early on in the season.

Kickoff for this game is at 1 p.m. EST, and WFMY News 2 will provide complete coverage beginning at 6 p.m.

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