CAROLINA (3-0) at TAMPA BAY (1-2)
Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, Fox
OPENING LINE – Panthers by 2 1-2.
RECORD VS. SPREAD – Panthers 2-1, Buccaneers 1-2
SERIES RECORD – Panthers lead 18-11
LAST MEETING – Panthers beat Buccaneers 19-17, Dec. 14, 2014
LAST WEEK – Panthers beat Saints 27-22; Buccaneers lost to Texans 19-9
AP PRO32 RANKING – Panthers No. 7, Buccaneers No. 29
PANTHERS OFFENSE – OVERALL (16), RUSH (T6), PASS (26).
PANTHERS DEFENSE – OVERALL (7), RUSH (4), PASS (15).
BUCCANEERS OFFENSE – OVERALL (26), RUSH (20), PASS (T27).
BUCCANEERS DEFENSE – OVERALL (15), RUSH (30), PASS (9).
STREAKS, STATS AND NOTES – NFC South rivals alternated sweeping season series from 2009-13 before Panthers won both meetings again last year for first four-game winning streak in rivalry by either team since Carolina won five straight (2003-05). … QBs Cam Newton and Jameis Winston are Heisman Trophy winners who won national championships in college and were selected No. 1 overall in NFL draft. … Newton has won four of six starts vs. Bucs, throwing for 1,414 yards, 10 touchdowns and four interceptions. He sat out both victories over Tampa Bay a year ago with injuries. … Panthers All-Pro LB Luke Kuechly hasn’t played since leaving opener against Jacksonville with concussion. … Carolina bolstered defense, acquiring DE Jared Allen from Chicago in trade this week. He leads NFL with 134 sacks since entering NFL in 2004. … Winston set career highs for passing attempts (36), completions (17) and yards passing (261) last week. Bucs rookie QB has thrown for four TDs with three interceptions. … Bucs wasted opportunity last week to climb over .500 at any point in season for first time in nearly three years. They’ve yet to win at home under coach Lovie Smith (0-9) and have dropped 10 straight regular-season games at Raymond James Stadium overall, dating to December 2013. … Fantasy Tip: Tampa Bay WR Mike Evans had seven receptions for 101 yards last week, but also cost team with three drops in loss at Houston.
AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL