The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will look to keep their slim playoff hopes alive when they play the Carolina Panthers at home on Sunday, December 4th.
The Buccaneers have been in a funk lately, and have now lost five games in a row. But they should have a decent shot to build some momentum by playing a 3-8 Carolina team that has lost three games straight.
However, Tampa Bay quarterback Josh Freeman will really need to improve if the Buccaneers want to secure their fifth win of the season. The third-year passer has had a very disappointing 2012 season so far, as he has thrown 12 touchdowns and 16 interceptions. But against a mediocre Panther pass defense, Freeman has a good chance to improve and hopefully get some long completions to wide receiver Mike Williams.
On defense, the Buccaneers top priority will be keeping Panthers quarterback Cam Newton in check. Newton has been one of the top rookie players so far, and he has already thrown for over 3,000 yards and rushed for a whopping 10 touchdowns.
In addition, Tampa Bay needs to watch out for Panthers running back DeAngelo Williams, who has been playing excellent football the last few weeks. Indeed, Williams is now averaging over five yards per carry.
Although Carolina has some tough players, the Buccaneers have two great defenders in Ronde Barber and Sean Jones, and they should be able to stop the Panthers. This is fortunate, because this game is truly a must-win for Tampa Bay.