Friday, November 18, 2011
Experts: Bucs, Panthers have no shot
By Pat Yasinskas
ESPN’s panel of experts is pretty much unanimous in its NFC South predictions this week.
All 10 of them have Tampa Bay losing to Green Bay. Hard to argue with that one. The 4-5 Bucs aren’t playing well and they’re heading into Lambeau Field to play an undefeated team. Unless LeGarrette Blount suddenly learns to pass block and Tampa Bay receivers stop dropping passes, it’s tough to imagine the Bucs having any chance to keep up with Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay offense.
The panel also is unanimous in picking the Detroit Lions over the Carolina Panthers. Again, tough to argue that one. I was thinking the Panthers would show improvement in the second half of the season and pull some upsets. That still might happen. But it’s tough to see the Panthers going into Ford Field, which suddenly has become one of the league’s toughest road venues, and winning.
The only game where the panel isn’t unanimous is Tennessee at Atlanta. But this was only one vote off. The Falcons were picked nine times, with Mike Golic taking the Titans. I think the Falcons have the better team, but I’m a little curious to see how they respond after last week’s overtime loss to New Orleans. They could bounce back strong. But there’s also the possibility the Falcons still might be emotionally and physically drained from the loss to the Saints.