Originally written on The Bay Cave  |  Last updated 11/16/12

NEW ORLEANS - DECEMBER 27: Josh Freeman #5 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers runs to pass the ball during the game against the New Orleans Saints at the Louisiana Superdome on December 27, 2009 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

The Buccaneers took the first meeting against the Carolina Panthers this season by a score of 16-10 at Raymond James Stadium. Since then, the Panthers are ranked 10th in the NFL for most sacks with 25. Tampa Bay’s offensive line will be tested.  Keep Josh Freeman from hitting the turf The Buccaneers are 11-3 when quarterback Josh Freeman has a passer rating of 100 or more. In the past five games, Freeman has 13 touchdowns and one interception with a 115.9 rating. One of the reasons for Tampa Bay’s recent success has been due to great play from Josh Freeman. As for Sunday, success will come if the offensive line continues to protect Freeman from that Carolina pass rush. Defense needs to repeat their opening day performance The Bucs’ defense held Carolina to a team total of 10 rushing yards in week one. They pressured Panthers’ quarterback Cam Newton into throwing two interceptions and sacked him three times. If the defense can come close to mirroring what they did to Cam Newton and the Panthers during the season opener, the defense should be in good shape. Don’t look ahead Tampa Bay has earned, for the moment, the right to be mentioned in the playoff race. Winning four of the last five will do that. However, four of the last six on the schedule are division games starting with Carolina. Bucs need to focus on the Panthers and nothing beyond. If they fail to do so, this can be a game that’ll get away from them quickly. Especially with it being on the road. (Photo Credit: Getty Images) The post Bucs game day: Keys to the game at Carolina appeared first on The Bay Cave.

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