Sunday, June 24, 2018
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Seahawks, Panthers very familiar with each other

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Panthers coach Ron Rivera says the Seahawks are starting to feel a little like a division opponent.

The teams meet today for the sixth time in four years and for the second straight season in the NFC division round. Seattle has won four of the previous five including a 31-17 playoff victory last year at home.

But this time it's a little different.

Not only is today's game in Charlotte, where the top-seeded Panthers (15-1) have won 11 straight, but the Seahawks face a Carolina team that's more confident and battled-tested.

Some of that stems from Carolina's 27-23 win over the two-time defending NFC champions in Week 6 when Cam Newton hit tight end Greg Olsen for a 26-yard touchdown with 32 seconds left.

The Panthers say that win helped spark their 14-0 start.

"It was just a matter of getting over that hump," All-Pro cornerback Josh Norman said.

It led Panthers safety Roman Harper to declare: "We are the better team."

In many ways, the Seahawks and Panthers are mirror images.

They both have dynamic quarterbacks who can make plays with their arms and their feet; strong running games led by powerful, bruising backs; and defenses that excel at keeping the opposition out of the end zone.

But the most intriguing matchup might be Carolina's No. 1 scoring offense against Seattle's defense, which has allowed the fewest points in the league.

Newton is the first quarterback to throw for 35 touchdowns and run for 10 in a season.

"This is the most diversified offense that we see, and the dynamics of what Cam is able to do and the way that they're willing to run with him makes this a really difficult offense to prepare for," Seattle coach Pete Carroll said.

Seattle's offense, meanwhile, is getting a key piece back. Marshawn Lynch is expected to play for the first time since having abdominal surgery in November.

And Panthers running back Jonathan Stewart makes his return after missing the last three games with a foot injury.

On defense, the Panthers had 44 sacks, sixth in the league, but veteran defensive ends Charles Johnson and Jared Allen have combined for just three. Seahawks middle linebacker Bobby Wagner didn't play in the first meeting with Carolina and could be a major factor; he had 114 tackles this season.



Comments
Greg Auman answers your questions about NFL’s investigation into Jameis Winston

Greg Auman answers your questions about NFL’s investigation into Jameis Winston

There are many unanswered questions and discrepancies about the story of Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston and the March 2016 Uber ride in Arizona that has led to his upcoming three-game suspension for violating the NFL's conduct policy.The Bucs won't ...
Published: 06/23/18
Will this be Jameis Winston’s last season in a Bucs uniform?

Will this be Jameis Winston’s last season in a Bucs uniform?

A t his introductory news conference after being drafted No. 1 overall by the Bucs in 2015, Jameis Winston said to judge him on his actions moving forward."Actions speak so much louder than words, or what they may have read or what they may have hear...
Published: 06/23/18
Ronald Darby’s friend: Jameis Winston got into second Uber ride alone

Ronald Darby’s friend: Jameis Winston got into second Uber ride alone

New details emerged Friday night about the Uber ride in Arizona in March 2016 that led to Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston's three-game suspension to start the upcoming season, including the fact that Winston was in a car that night with a former Vand...
Published: 06/22/18
Chris Godwin on SiriusXM: Bucs have confidence in backup QBs

Chris Godwin on SiriusXM: Bucs have confidence in backup QBs

Bucs receiver Chris Godwin, who has had as good an offseason as any Tampa Bay player, was on SiriusXM NFL radio for a scheduled interview on Thursday night, talking about a range of subjects, including the news of Jameis Winston's suspension to start...
Published: 06/22/18
With Winston suspension, how might Bucs split QB reps in preseason?

With Winston suspension, how might Bucs split QB reps in preseason?

With news that Jameis Winston will be suspended for the first three games of 2018, Bucs coach Dirk Koetter has an interesting decision to make for training camp and especially in preseason games: How does he split reps between Winston and backup Ryan...
Published: 06/22/18
Bucs QB Jameis Winston’s suspension: What they’re saying

Bucs QB Jameis Winston’s suspension: What they’re saying

There are so many sides to the Jameis Winston suspension, and it will continue to be a major Bucs story line through September and beyond. Here's some of the reactions and notes that have already emerged in the first 24 hours since news broke Thursda...
Published: 06/22/18
Welcome back to the dark side, Bucs fans

Welcome back to the dark side, Bucs fans

TAMPA — Thursday was not the end of Jameis Winston in Tampa Bay, but it is in sight.Me? I was sitting at home. I was tired of the NBA draft, even with Tampa's Kevin Knox going to the New York Knicks.So I switched to the NFL Network. An episode ...
Published: 06/22/18
Winston aftermath: Report says Darby wasn’t in car for whole ride

Winston aftermath: Report says Darby wasn’t in car for whole ride

There's no telling how much detail will be disclosed in what the NFL learned in its investigation that led to Jameis Winston being suspended for the first three games of the upcoming season, but some have already been reported in the first 24 hours s...
Published: 06/22/18
Kwon Alexander to Jameis Winston: ‘We gotcha back’

Kwon Alexander to Jameis Winston: ‘We gotcha back’

There are many questions in the aftermath of Thursday's news that Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston will be suspended for the first three games of the 2018 season, but even before the suspension is officially announced, he is drawing support on social ...
Published: 06/22/18
Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Jameis Winston to receive three-game suspension

Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Jameis Winston to receive three-game suspension

Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston will be suspended by the NFL for three games according to reports, and that number could go up if he doesn't meet certain criteria.Rick Stroud explains that the suspension is not for a failure to report the 2016 i...
Published: 06/22/18