Tampa Bay (0-1) at Carolina (0-1), 8:20 p.m. on NFL Network. A pair of former Heisman winners meet in the Tar Heel State as Tampa Bay and Carolina, both coming off home losses in week one, open play in week two in Charlotte at Bank of America Stadium. Thursday’s contest marks the first of seven games exclusively televised on NFL Network this season and will be produced by FOX. The game will feature Joe Buck, Pro Football Hall of Famer Troy Aikman, Erin Andrews and Kristina Pink on the call.

Jameis Winston and Tampa Bay led San Francisco 7-6 at the intermission at Raymond James Stadium, only to see the 49ers outscore them 25-10 in the final 30 minutes of play to fall 31-17 in their home opener. Tampa Bay did out-rush San Francisco 121-98 but turned the ball over four times in the loss. Winston threw for 121 yards and a TD but was picked off three times and sacked once, while San Francisco’s Jimmy Garoppolo threw for 166 yards with a TD and an interception. Tampa Bay was 5 of 11 on third down (0 of 2 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 29:56, while the 49ers ruled the clock and kept the ball for 30:04, while going 5 for 13 on third down conversions.

In dropping a 30-27 decision to the Los Angeles Rams, Cam Newton and the Panthers trailed 13-3 at the intermission after a scoreless first quarter, then pulled themselves to within a field goal with 1:58 left in the contest when Alex Armah scored on a one-yard run. The defending NFC champions out-rushed Carolina 166-127, with Christian McCafferey leading the way with 128 yards and a pair of TDs, while the Rams were led by Todd Gurley with 97 yards. Newton threw for 239 yards with three sacks and an interception, while Jarred Goff threw for 186 yards with a TD, sack and interception. Carolina was 5 for 11 on third down tries at Bank of America Stadium and kept the ball for 26:44, while the Rams went 9 of 17 on third down (neither club had a fourth down attempt) and kept the ball for 33:16.

Carolina leads the Panthers series 23-14 and have outscored Tampa Bay 823-646. The two clubs split last season’s meetings, each taking wins at home. Their first meeting took place in Charlotte in week nine and the Panthers took a 35-14 lead with them to the break, then came away 42-28 winners in the Tar Heel State. Newton threw for 247 yards and a pair of TDs, while the home team out-rushed Tampa Bay 179-82 (Ryan Fitzpatrick, who took over for Winston, threw for 243 yards and four TDs but was sacked three times and picked off twice). Carolina went 4 of 10 on third down (0 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 31 minutes, while Tampa Bay held the ball for 29 minutes, going 5 of 12, 1 of 2 on third and fourth downs.

Winston would be under center in the rematch in the Sunshine State in week 13 and Tampa Bay would get revenge on their NFC South rivals, taking a 24-17 win at Raymond James Stadium. Tampa Bay led 17-7 at the intermission, then held off the Panthers to take the win. Carolina again out-rushed Tampa Bay, this time tallying 168 yards to Tampa Bay’s 95 and McCafferey led all rushers with 106 yards, while Winston threw for 249 yards in the win and Newton threw for 300 yards with four interceptions (each man threw a pair of TDs and each was sacked twice). Carolina was 3 for 8 on third down, 0 for 1 on fourth down and kept the ball for 30:06, while the Buccaneers needed only 29:54 to take the win, going 6 of 13 on third down.

In the week nine contest, Carolina covered the 6 1/2-point spread, winning by 14 and both teams covered the 54 over/under with 70 points. Carolina was again favored in the week 13 rematch by 3 1/2 and Tampa Bay’s 7-point win in the Sunshine State allowed them to cover the spread but the 41 combined points fell short of the 55 1/2 over/under. Vegas likes Carolina in this and the boys and girls in the desert designated them as 6 1/2-point favorites at home and the over/under’s 48 1/2. Both numbers are reasonable and make sense.

Both clubs are looking to pull themselves even in this contest but in the end, there will be only one winner. Tampa Bay will give Carolina a battle but Newton and the Panthers prevail at home in the Tar Heel State, taking the win and covering the 6 1/2.

Broadcast Information: 8:15 p.m. on NFL Network: Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Erin Andrews (field reporter), Kristina Pink (field reporter); NATIONAL RADIO: Westwood One: Ian Eagle, Tony Boselli; SIRIUS: 81 (Tampa Bay), 83 (Carolina); XM: 225 (Tampa Bay), 226 (Carolina)

Referee: Jerome Boger

Injury Report

Tampa Bay
OUT: QB Blaine Gabbert (left shoulder)

Carolina
OUT: DE Bruce Irvin (Hamstring)
QUESTIONABLE: S Rashaan Gaulden (Groin), TE Greg Olsen (Back)

Weather: Partly Cloudy and 87 degrees

Broadcast information, officials and injury report courtesy the National Football League, odds courtesy Don Best, weather information courtesy The Weather Channel