With almost all playoff hopes gone, the Buccaneers (8-7) ring in 2017 by hosting the Panthers (6-9) in their regular season finale. Tampa Bay will be looking for a strong finish to its campaign. Here, we preview the 1:00 matchup and tell you where to watch and listen to it.
Just over a week ago, the Buccaneers had the potential to clinch a playoff spot with a victory in this week 17 game. Instead, after a 31-24 loss to the Saints, they have little to play for other than pride. The Panthers, who come in at 6-9, don’t have much to play for either. Of course, both teams will still want to finish the 2016 season on a positive note.
In week 16, Tampa Bay threw away its playoff hopes with a 31-24 loss to New Orleans. Jameis Winston was intercepted twice, and the defense was unable to hold down Drew Brees and Mark Ingram. The loss was a gut-wrenching one, as the Bucs received no help from around the league. They aren’t mathematically eliminated just yet, but their chances are so minimal that it’s not even worth it to still think the playoffs are a possibility.
What a difference that a year has made for Carolina. Last year, the Panthers went 15-1 before falling to the Broncos in the Super Bowl. This year, they never found their footing. They stumbled out of the gate, and never recovered. Last week, they were beaten 33-16 by the Falcons in a game in which Cam Newton threw two picks.
The Bucs got the best of the Panthers back in week five. Roberto Aguayo connected on a 38-yard field goal as time expired to win the game. It was a big win for the reeling Bucs at the time, as they found a way to win a divisional game on Monday Night Football. Overall, Carolina owns a 20-12 lead in the all-time regular season series.
Where to Watch
Fox will have this one. Thom Brennaman (play-by-play), Charles Davis (commentary), Chris Spielman (commentary) and Peter Schrager (sideline) will be the broadcast team.
Where to Listen
The radio broadcast can be heard on 103.5 FM and 620 AM in the Tampa Bay area. Play-by-play duties will be taken by Gene Deckerhoff, who will be joined by color analyst Dave Moore. T.J. Rives will provide reports from the sideline. For more radio options around Florida, check here. The game can also be heard on Buccaneers.com, or if you’re within 75 miles of Tampa, the Buccaneers’ mobile app.
Satellite radio subscribers can listen to the Bucs’ broadcast on Sirius 82. The Panthers’ broadcast will be on Sirius 146.