Tampa Bay @ Carolina Game News and Notes

Tampa Bay @ Carolina Game News and Notes

Charlotte, NC - Tampa Bay leads the all-time series vs. Carolina, 2-1.  The last time the teams met was in October 1998, when Tampa Bay won 16-13.  The last time the teams played at Ericsson was December of 1996, when the Panthers recorded their first shutout, defeating the Bucs 24-0.

Defensive rankings: Tampa Bay ranks 1st overall, 5th against the run, and 2nd against the pass.  Carolina ranks 4th overall, 15th against the run, and 5th against the pass.

Offensive rankings: Tampa Bay ranks 24th overall, 25th rushing, and 18th passing.  Carolina ranks 25th overall, 15th rushing, and 26th passing.

Both teams will feature a change at quarterback this weekend.  Carolina will start rookie Randy Fasani, while Tampa Bay will start Rob Johnson.  No Panther rookie QB has ever won his first game.

Bucs linebacker Derrick Brooks has scored 4 defensive touchdowns this season.

Panthers defensive end Mike Rucker has 6 sacks this year and needs only 3 to tie his career best.  Panthers defensive end Julius Peppers needs one more 3 sack game to become the only NFL rookie to have 3 games of 3 or more sacks.  Carolina needs only 2 more sacks to surpass last year's team total of 26.

Injury Report

Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Doubtful: QB Brad Johnson (rib); WR Keenan McCardell (scapula)Probable: C Jeff Christy (knee); CB Brian Kelly (knee); DT Warren Sapp (knee); CB Dwight Smith (stomach virus); RB Aaron Stecker (stomach virus)

Carolina Panthers
Out: QB Rodney Peete (knee); RB DeShaun Foster (knee-injured reserve)Questionable: LB Mark Fields (groin); S Mike Minter (arm); LB Dan Morgan (groin); TE Wesley Walls (finger); QB Chris Weinke (concussion); LB Will Witherspoon (head)

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