Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs Carolina Panthers Pregame: Key Players To Watch

By John Beauchamp
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

Tonight, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will be hosting the Carolina Panthers; this game will feature Lavonte David and Luke Kuechly, two sophomore linebackers who have been performing very similar this season. Both of these players have 48 tackles each this season, however, David has recorded four sacks and Kuechly has yet to put down a single quarterback.

David will certainly be a key player to watch this game, as last week he had his best game of the year against the Atlanta Falcons with 10 tackles; three of them went behind the line of scrimmage. David’s year has been a success thus far, spreading his name across the league. He may even make an appearance at the Pro Bowl this year if he continues to perform at a high level.

Kuechly, on the other hand, is showing numbers slightly below his numbers from last year. However, the Panthers have had improvements on their defense, becoming the forth best rush defense in the NFL and the fifth best pass defense. This will be a scary sight for the Buccaneers offense, who have struggled to find touchdowns.

The key players on the offensive side simply consist of the two quarterbacks in this match up with Cam Newton and rookie Mike Glennon. The Panthers’ and Newton’s passing numbers have not been as good as they would like, being ranked 28th in the league. This will be a major relief for the Buccaneers’ secondary, who faced a major embarrassment last week against a crippled Falcons’ pass offense. Newton has been a major threat running the ball on the read option with running backs Mike Tolbert and DeAngelo Williams cycling  as a rotation.

Glennon has improved his number through the past few weeks, lowering his interception rate and improving his completion percentage. However, the Panthers will be Glennon’s toughest test so far this season.

John Beauchamp is a multi-sport writer for RantSports; ask any questions to him by following him on Twitter @John_Beauchamp_ or just add him to your network on Google

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