Can Carolina Be Toppled?

July 3rd, 2016
Recent history suggests Carolina will be tough.

Recent history suggests Carolina will be tough.

Yes, it is a day before the Fourth of July. Training camp is around the corner. Joe can hear the slap of footballs hitting receivers’ hands and can almost smell the fruity scent of cheerleaders’ sweat.

(Yes, it does smell fruity.)

And while Joe isn’t excited about training camp (gives Joe too many flashbacks to high school football two-a-days surrounded by cornfields), it does mean we are inching closer to the regular season. And Joe is very eager for that to kick off.

Joe is more excited about the Bucs this season than he has been since 2013, the second season of former commander Greg Schiano. Something about this Bucs team, they are giving off a vibe Joe hasn’t felt before.

Listening to national NFL pundits, they also sense something brewing locally. But toppling the Stinking Panthers? That may be too much to ask this fall.

The Bucs were 3-3 in the NFC South last year, 3-1 against the Dixie Chicks and Sad Saints, which should have been 4-0. The Bucs got beat down by the Stinking Panthers in both meetings.

The Saints are bad, but never out of a game with Drew Brees. The Dixie Chicks have a dangerous offense, but man alive did their defense stink. Not sure that defense improved much over this offseason.

The reigning NFC conference champion Stinking Panthers are another matter. Not long ago, it used to be an NFL proverb that the loser of the Super Bowl would often come back down to earth the following season. Joe checked for the past decade and noticed in the last seven years, the loser of the Super Bowl has not dropped off much.

In the past 10 years, only the 2007 Bears and 2008 Patriots did not return to the playoffs after losing the Super Bowl the previous season. Only the Bears had a losing record; the Patriots missed the playoffs despite winning 11 games.

Here is what happened to the loser of the Super Bowl from 2006-2015.

2006: Seattle (10-6, lost divisional round)
2007: Chicago (7-9, missed playoffs)
2008: New England (11-5, missed playoffs)
2009: Arizona (10-6, lost in divisional round)
2010: Indianapolis (10-6, lost in wild card game)
2011: Pittsburgh (12-4, lost in wild card game)
2012: New England (12-4, lost in AFC championship)
2013: San Francisco (12-4, lost in NFC championship)
2014: Denver (12-4, lost in divisional round)
2015: Seattle (10-6, lost in divisional round)

So expecting the Bucs to overcome the Panthers might be a bit more than the team can chew this fall. If for some reason the Stinking Panthers don’t win the division and/or miss the playoffs, then it would be breaking a seven-year trend.

18 Responses to “Can Carolina Be Toppled?”

  1. phreakybucfan Says:

    Actually it’s more of a cinnamony scent.

  2. finishers Says:

    any pics of this fruity sweet sweat you speak of ?

  3. chromolly Says:

    they smell like PEANUT BUTTER! All the suden im hungry

  4. Rossta Says:

    To hell with the stinking Panthers and I enjoyed watching the cry baby, Cam, and his team-mates get beat in the Super Bowl. It almost makes up for the lousy season for us Bucs fans! Don’t be surprised, Joe, if the Superman Cam’s cape gets in the way and he falters again….he can use it to wipe his tears. Happy Fourth…Go Bucs!

  5. Cannon Says:

    I wanna learn more about the fruity smell of professional NFL cheerleaders…

  6. Kobe Faker Says:

    I think Carolina’s offense is unstoppable. How many defenses have the talent/players to create consistent pressure with their front and cover at a high level all game long? the 2016 Broncos might not even duplicate that level like they did in 2015.

    Cam with all those receivers running downfield and if they are covered he tucks it for 6-7 yards all game long. like taking candy from a baby. how can defenses stop this? they get burned either way. His improved arm or his 260 lb legs

    I think we can get 9 wins and will be fighting all the way to the last game to get in the playoffs. Cam and Jaboo is tight…panthers will be already locked in (I hope CAR is not 15-0) and we go in the playoffs and win our FIRST PLAYOFF GAME

  7. Clodhopper Says:

    Anything is possible within the division. Even Rex Ryan beats Belicheat every once in a while.

  8. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    I get that this is the smart play. But I’m really confident. Tee it up and let’s see how it works out.

    We only need to get to equal to become better than Carolina.

    As 87 can attest I was late to the parade but I”ve come to realize why he was always gushing about #3.

    All things being equal (not sure we’re there yet) we will always be better than the Panthers.

    Take one look at the intangibles. #3 blows away Cam!!! Who is the better leader…the more competitive….who really gets it? I do not say this to diminish Cam because I respect him greatly….I just believe #3 is off the charts on every intangible you would want in a QB/leader.

    So…we just need to get to even with the Stinkin’ Panthers. #3 will do the rest!

  9. MadMax Says:

    They lost Josh Norman…..thats one they wont soon recover from.

  10. Buccfan37 Says:

    Mention the stinky puttie cats and a lot of Buc fans get ornery and grouchy, me too. Can the Bucs beat them? The losing streak against them is getting painful. Hmm… kick their stinking butts.

  11. Gilhealy Says:

    StPete, you nailed it.

  12. OneBuc55 Says:

    Imho, from a talent standpoint we’re even with the Panthers…we actually may have more talent than them…whats made then better than us lately is thier chemistry and their winning mindset…They expect to win and everyone’s on the same page…

    I think this will be the season the Bucs take the leap that the Panthers made a few years…for the first time in a long time, (maybe ever) the a bucs have at least 1 stud in every position group…as Jameis said in a post game interview, once every gets on the same page and has “the same why” we’re gonna take off…I loved everything we did this off season (even drafting a Kicker in the 2nd round)…the sky is the limit for this entire team the arrow is definitely pointing up for this franchise…

    I believe Cam vs Jameis can be what Payton vs Manning use to be…I’ve never been this optimistic about a Bucs team since Chuckys first year in Tampa…Let’s go Bucs, why not us…It’s time to Grind…

  13. OneBuc55 Says:

    “Manning vs Brady”…

  14. R.O Says:

    Another can Carolina be toppled story… The answer is yes. It could happen. Will it happen, who knows? Yawn. Wash.. rinse.. repeat!!

  15. Mike Johson Says:

    As I’ve said a zillion times, our team will go as far as our Defense takes us. Our Offense will score. But can we stop anybody? Can we do it when it counts? What use is having a Dan Marino type great when he consistently gets beat by 7 or less points? The Great Jameis can throw for 500 a game. Don’t mean nothing if the final score says..You Lost! Like him or not, Cam Newton has finally figured it out. It took him a while. But if he has anything close to the year he had this past season, Not only is..but the entire league is in trouble. Now I don’t like Cam. Don’t have to. Dude balled out last year.

  16. Newbucsfan2 Says:

    Cam vs Famous!
    Bring it on!

  17. feelthepewterpower Says:


    The Panthers will be beatable (with the division up for grabs) this year, and here’s WHY –

    1) Regression – you can’t predict turnovers and CAR was near the top in turnovers forced. This is very likely to regress meaning less shorter fields for the Panthers offense to work with. In Game one vs. the Buccaneers the Panthers forced FIVE turnovers, FIVE. The Buccaneers forced ONE. Plus four a game that much closer than the score indicated. Carolina forced another three in the finale at their home turf. To greatly illustrate to you that turnovers aren’t predictable…just take a look at the one play the Panthers scored on in which 8 or 9 times out of ten we force a fumble with that many guys around the ball if it hits the ground, yet it pops right back up into the hands of Ed Dickson who happened to be Johnny on the spot and takes it the other way for a score.
    2) Loss of Norman, inexperienced in the secondary, and older vets at key positions – while having experience helps (the Buccaneers have picked-up older vets this year as well) with leadership, learning curve, and stability; players near thirty tend to see decline in skill set as well get hurt easier and take longer to heal. Panthers have vets in several key positions. Center with Khalil, Blind side with Oher, Stewart at RB, Olson at TE, Tolbert at fullback, Ted Ginn Jr. at WR, Johnson at DE, Davis at LB. The Panthers are one of the oldest teams despite a purge of aging vets in the offseason (Tlilman, Finnegan, etc.) Norman was one of their best players on defense and overall, and did a terrific job shutting down our receivers in years past. He brought an immeasurable swagger and attitude to that defense, and while not impossible it will be likely be hard to duplicate and replace despite what Panthers fans may claim….and no matter how many CB’s the Panthers try and draft and bring-in off the wire.
    3) Career years – the Panthers had lots of them. It’s hard to repeat team success let alone individual success. Will we see the likes of Ginn Jr., Stewart, Davis, Olsen, etc. having career years again especially at their age.
    4) Cam’s the key – for the record, Cam finally broke the string of losses with a comeback victory in Seattle when his team was trailing by three or more entering the fourth quarter last year. In his career, Cam was a league worst (zero wins) when trailing by three or more points. See Warren’s Sharp article for commentary on Cam Newton going into this season.…/cam-newton-earned-hi…. Cam lead the league in overthrows in 2014, and we saw the accuracy issues crop-up again in the Super Bowl. When the defense can’t bail out the Panthers and they must rely on the offense, the Panthers struggle mightily. Cam is effective vs. the blitz so the key is to get sustained pressure with the front four (remember Buccaneers of years past vs. Vick and how we had a spy in Brooks, and were able to get to him with our pass rush without having to blitz to where he couldn’t even set-up and throw). Our pass rush should be a lot more effective this season and we have the sheer speed at linebacker to mainly contain Newton to the pocket Even as bad as the Buccaneers have been, they had quadruple the amount of 4th quarters comeback wins as the panthers. This was a team that gave-up many points in the fourth quarter last season and a number of deep passes, all the while having a great defense. Their defense won’t be the same caliber this season and I expect Carolina to be trailing in more games into the fourth quarter given the strength of schedule is theoretically tougher and the inexperience in their secondary yielding more points and the needed longer sustained drives on offense with poorer field position. Cam didn’t have an MVP season until the second half of the year. If you look at his stats weeks 1-9 they are mediocre. A lot of it numbers put up in the second half came on short fields and against the weakest of pass defenses in the league (Buccs, Saints, Falcons, Giants, etc.). All this is assuming Cam will stay healthy as well. Ankle surgery, car accident in 2014…he has a running back mentality in a running offense, and as a result, Cam has taken the most shots of any QB in the league. As we know, RB’s have a short shelf life. How many more years of those will he able to sustain and still maintain that high level of play? Cam is 27 yet he is aging faster than many of his piers based on those hits.
    5 – Tougher schedule – yes, in hindsight, we won’t truly know how tough the schedule will be until the full season is played. However, based on last season, it is much tougher. The NFC East/AFC South whom the division played last season is much easier compared to upcoming opponents from the NFC West/ AFC West, and I think most agree with me on this assessment. With the tougher schedule and gap closing in talent between the two teams, the division may very well be up grabs. Sans Benjamin (Ginn took his spot and had a career year) the Panthers stayed relatively healthy last year until the end of the year/playoffs with Davis breaking his arm with no one missing significant playing time. The Buccs were without their starting TE, Slot Receiver, and 2nd starting receiver for much of the year, and that’s not even commenting on the defense. It takes health and lucky breaks to a teams way in addition to just being good to win. The Panthers are not invincible, nor are they likely to repeat the easy season a year ago that concluded with a trip to the Super Bowl. Games are likely to be tightly contested, especially in the division as teams know each other’s tendencies and play calls the best, with teams giving their very best shot to try and using the Panthers as a measuring stick.
    Go Buccs….let’s get the mentality that we can take this division back and beat Carolina in which I know we can. The new mindset starts on 9/11. Time to set a new tone, Tampa Bay!

    *The Panthers have not had back-to-back winning seasons in their entire franchise’s history.

  18. Cold Brews Says:

    Man I forgot about San Fran winnin that super bowl. I must have blacked out after the “black out”