Today, my Angry Kitties travel to the Sunshine State to take on a somewhat revamped Tampa Bay team under Head Coach Lovie Smith. Smith, you’ll recall, was fired by the Bears at the end of the 2012 season. He returns to the field relaxed after taking a year off and is ready to lead a loaded lineup on both sides of the ball. The Bucs fans are anxious to see any kind of improvement over their 4-12 record of last year.
The Panthers start this season without receivers Steve Smith and Brandon LaFell. LaFell went to the Patriots and Smith signed with the Ravens. They will probably also not have Cam Newton at the QB position due to fractured ribs. Coach Ron Rivera has labeled Newton as a “game day decision”.
The Bucs have three distinct advantages in today’s game: (1) home field advantage (2) Coach Smith’s familiarity with Rivera’s coaching style while at the Bears from 2004 to 2006 and (3) former Cincinnati defensive end Michael Johnson will help against the run-heavy Panthers.
Oddsmakers are predicting a 17-13 win for the Bucs. I hope they’re wrong, wrong, wrong.
And because no football post would be complete without some pom-poms, please enjoy this photo of Top Cat Erin.