Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 10/26/13
1. The Carolina Panthers’ offense is on fire as seen in their Thursday night game against the winless Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Panthers’ third-year quarterback, Cam Newton, threw an impressive two touchdown passes and ran for another to lead the 4-3 Panthers to an easy 31-13 victory over the struggling Buccaneers.Newton has played exceptionally well during their three-game winning streak, throwing for 667 yards, six touchdowns, two rushing touchdowns and no interceptions.  Newton has shown more patience and consistency over the past few games.Third down conversions were key to Carolina’s favored win.  The offense converted 5 of 7 third downs in the first half. The Carolina Panthers’ offense is currently ranked third in the NFL in 3rd down conversions at 45.9 percent.2. Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ fans, and players alike, are justifiably frustrated and ready for a change. Fans are calling for the firing of second-year head coach, Greg Schiano.The Buccaneers’ Raymond James Stadium was half empty and many of the fans who still holds out hope for their beloved Buccaneers were wearing “paper bags of shame” over their heads and holding signs of discontentment with Schiano, calling for his immediate firing after losing 12 of their last 13 games dating back to November of 2012.Coach Schiano is obviously not ready for the NFL. Insiders say the players have no faith in the coach’s ability to lead or motivate this team. In a WTVT-TV, interview after the game, cornerback Darrelle Revis was asked if the team believed in the coaching staff.  “I don’t know,” was Revis’ response. One player who played on the 2012 rooster stated, “How bad is it there? It’s worse than you can imagine. It’s like being in Cuba.” Wow!3. The Carolina Panthers’ defense as of Thursday was ranked 15th, stopping approximately 63 percent of third down conversion attempts.  They have remained strong against the run and pass. Before Thursday night’s game, they forced 14 takeaways (six giveaways) in their past four games.The Panthers’ has a strong front seven capable of forcing turnovers lead by defensive ends Greg Hardy and Charles Johnson. The Panthers rank fourth in the league against the run.4.Tampa Bay's passing game faced its toughest challenge so far this season against the Carolina Panthers.  Though the Buccaneers’ passing game has improved under rookie Mike Glennon, he has been sacked more than seven times this season due to the weak offensive line.5. Finally, the Carolina Panthers’ Ted Ginn and Brandon Lafell have both improved tremendously under new offensive coordinator Mike Shula.  Instead of simply relying on their speed, they have improved on running the routes. Ted Ginn now needs to concentrate on better ball handling.
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