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Thursday Night Football open thread: Buccaneers at Panthers

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Week 2 of the NFL kicks off with a Thursday night tilt between NFC South rivals

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NFL: DEC 02 Panthers at Buccaneers Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The second slate of NFL games begins tonight as the Carolina Panthers play host to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Last week’s matchup of the Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears was a defensive showdown, with neither offense generating many points. We can hope that it will not be the case this week with the Panthers and Buccaneers. The two division rivals both looking to find their form this season, but there is plenty of promise.

The Panthers, led by Christian McCaffrey and Cam Newton, want to establish themselves as a threat in the NFC South. With the New Orleans Saints reaching the conference championship last season, and the Atlanta Falcons looking to bounce back after a disappointing 7-9 season, the Panthers will need to step up to claim the division. McCaffrey remains the focal point of their offense as a runner and receiver, and the Tampa Bay defense might have trouble containing him.

The Buccaneers, meanwhile, were crushed by the San Francisco 49ers last week, and despite hiring Bruce Arians as head coach, quarterback Jameis Winston remains inconsistent at best. Winston threw three picks, a poor start for a quarterback in his make-or-break season. There is some optimism, however. Mike Evans and Chris Godwin remain an excellent wide receiver duo, and tight end O.J. Howard is growing into one of the league’s best. Second-year back Ronald Jones finally showcased his potential as a starting running back after a disappointing rookie season. However, the offense needs Winston to improve if they want to avoid fourth place in the NFC South this year.

Come watch and chat with us as Week 2 of the season kicks off.

Date: Thursday, September 12, 2019
Time: 8:20 p.m. ET
Location: Bank of America Stadium—Charlotte, NC
TV: NFL Network
Announcers: Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Erin Andrews & Kristina Pink
Online Stream/Replay: NFL Gamepass