KICKOFF: Sunday, 1:00 ET
TV: FOX (Barry Tomkins, Eddie George)
PREDICTION: Bucs 23-19
KEYS TO THE GAME: Can the Bucs stop what they know is coming?
FAST FACTS: The Bucs are 0-5 on the road. ... Panthers RB Jonathan Stewart has 225 rushing yards and three touchdowns in the past two meetings.
MATCHUPS TO WATCH:
Panthers RB DeAngelo Williams vs. Bucs LB Barrett Ruud. Williams has been part of a backfield with Jonathan Stewart that has combined to rush for nearly 600 yards in the last two games against the Bucs.
Panthers QB Matt Moore vs. Bucs CB Ronde Barber.
GAME PLAN: The Bucs hope their return to a one-gap scheme will help them stop the run the way it did at
"They ran over us, there's no doubt about it," coach Raheem Morris said. "They took the last 15 snaps, whatever it was, and they ran the football every time except for a bear pass to go ahead and win the football game. We had just got some momentum type plays -- I believe it was a big kickoff return and an interception return from Tanard Jackson. They got the ball backed up with us having the opportunity to get the ball back and possibly score and win that football game and we were not able to do it. That's all you've got to do, remind your team of that today. We're going to go out there and practice, going to practice hard, play hard, prepare ourselves to stop the run and win the football game."
Offensively, the Bucs will try to control the football on the ground, but they've not been able to accomplish that this season. Much of the burden will fall on rookie quarterback Josh Freeman, who bounced back from a miserable game two weeks ago and played well at
--CB Aqib Talib has a hamstring injury and did not practice Thursday or Friday. It's unlikely he will play Sunday at
--CB Elbert Mack could start at left cornerback Sunday if Aqib Talib is unable to play.
--WR Michael Clayton has a knee injury and did not practice Thursday or Friday. He is expected to miss two games with an MCL sprain.
--DE Michael Bennett did not participate in practice Thursday or Friday because of a turf toe injury.
--OT Donald Penn (knee) returned to practice Thursday and will start against the Panthers.
--WR Muhsin Muhammad went from practicing on a limited basis to not practicing at all on Thursday because of a knee injury, leaving his status for Sunday up in the air. He did return for full participation on Friday.
--WR Dwayne Jarrett could have a chance to start this week, but he's slowed by an ankle injury and has missed the last three days of work. He is doubtful for Sunday.
--WR Charly Martin could be the surprise starter this week in
--QB Jake Delhomme did not practice for a third straight day and he will not start this week.
--QB Matt Moore will start for the first time since 2007 on Sunday.
--DE Charles Johnson is likely to miss a third straight game with a pectoral strain.
--CB Captain Munnerlyn has been ruled out for this week with a concussion.