Gramatica must be on target

Bucs-Panthers games are usually low-scoring affairs, which means the Bucs need PK Martin Gramatica to return to form.

Updated: November 7, 2003, 3:13 PM ET
By By Darrell Trimble | NFL Insider
The premier game of the week will take place in Carolina, where the Bucs try to avenge a Week 2 loss to the Panthers. The Panthers have a two-game lead over Tampa Bay, and with a victory they would have a four-game lead with the tiebreaker.

That makes this game a must-win for the Bucs. Luckily for them, the game is on the road as Tampa Bay has lost only one game away from Raymond James Stadium. There is another karmic hint that the Bucs will pull within a game of the division lead.

Martin Gramatica
Martin Gramatica has not been automatic, making just six of 12 FGs this season.
Eight games into the season the Bucs have yet to have a winning streak or a losing streak. They've alternated wins and losses since the opener, and the cycle this week calls for a victory. Other teams have had similar stretches, namely the 1983 Packers and the '97 Lions, but a with a win the Bucs would be the first team in NFL history to maintain such a pattern this long.