Sunday, December 11, 2005
This Weeks Match Up:
This weeks match up is the biggest game with a division rival to date and a must win for the Bucs. If the Bucs are going to return to the postseason for the first time since the Super Bowl year, the next two weeks could be a determining factor. The Bucs started a 3 game road trip were the first stop was in Louisiana. The Bucs game out of this close fight with the win. Today if the Bucs win, they will regain the Division Lead with the better Division and conference records.
"It's not the greatest day of my life, winning eight games. You're only going to be judged on winning Super Bowls, as far as I'm concerned," Gruden said. "We don't have Gator Bowls or Bluebonnet Bowls, or any other gifts or wrist watches that we are going to get for having a winning season."
"Four games left; two on the road, two at home. We want to get into the tournament and win the Super Bowl," Gruden said. "That's the only goal we have here. I could care less about five wins or eight wins or 10 wins. If you get to the playoffs and don't advance, it's not a very happy ending."
"Like all young players, the more they do it the better they get, and Chris Simms has done that," Fox said. "He's got talent, good mobility and a strong arm. He's a smart, young man and he's definitely improved since we saw him the last time."
STANDINGS: Panthers 9-3-- 1st Place, NFC South.
Buccaneers 8-4 -- 2nd Place, NFC South.
LAST MEETING: Nov. 6; Panthers, 34-14. At Tampa, Fla., Carolina forced four turnovers and Davis ran for two scores as the Panthers recorded their fifth consecutive win.
BUCS-PANTHER SERIES: Tampa Bay is 5-5 all-time in the regular season vs. Panthers
WHERE: Bank of America Stadium
WHEN: 12/11/2005 @1pm on Fox
PANTHERS TEAM RANK: Rushing Offense - 94.7 ypg (21st); Passing Offense - 207.6 ypg (17th); Total Offense - 302.3 ypg (23rd). Rushing Defense - 85.5 ypg (2nd); Passing Defense - 197.3 ypg (14th); Total Defense - 282.8 ypg (4th).
BUCCANEERS TEAM RANK: Rushing Offense - 113.3 yards per game (T-13th in NFL); Passing Offense - 186.9 ypg (22nd); Total Offense - 300.2 ypg (24th). Rushing Defense - 93.8 ypg (8th); Passing Defense - 176.7 ypg (5th); Total Defense - 270.4 ypg (2nd).
STREAKS AND NOTES: Buccaneers - DE Rice is one sack away from his fifth straight season with at least 10. ... Tampa Bay has forced 21 turnovers in its eight wins and only four in its four losses. ... Galloway needs two TD receptions to become the first receiver in team history to have 10 in a season. Panthers - QB Delhomme is 5-0 as a starter against Tampa Bay. ... Carolina is looking to record the third 10-win season in team history. It had 12 victories in 1996 and 11 in 2003. ... The Panthers are 10-1 when Foster has 10 or more carries in a game.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Buccaneers - 4-2 on the road; Panthers - 5-1 at home.
INJURY REPORT: BUCCANEERS: PROBABLE: S Will Allen (knee),K Matt Bryant (right hamstring); QUESTIONABLE: LB Marquis Cooper (chest)
CAROLINA: PROBABLE: S Idrees Bashir (hamstring); WR Karl Hankton (forearm); RB Brad Hoover (ankle) QUESTIONABLE: TE Michael Gaines (ankle); LB Dan Morgan (ankle); DE Julius Peppers (ankle); G Tutan Reyes (knee);
OUT:DE Mike Rucker (ankle)
Underdog: Tampa Bay