A big NFC showdown between two of the NFL’s best dual-threat quarterbacks will go down during the early slate of action on Sunday, as Kyler Murray and the Arizona Cardinals will head to Carolina to take on Teddy Bridgewater and the Panthers.
Arizona looked dismal and finally showed some pretty glaring flaws in Week 3 in a home loss to Detroit. Their defense was exposed on many downs, while Kyler Murray still showed just how young he is. His reads were off and he made a few critical errors en route to a disappointing loss. How he rebounds will be fascinating to watch this coming Sunday.
For the Panthers, head coach Matt Rhule picked up his first win in the NFL last weekend in an encouraging victory over the L.A. Chargers. Even without stud running back Christian McCaffrey, the Panthers’ offense remains threatening. Mike Davis admirably filled the void, and could turn in another solid outing against a struggling Cardinals’ stop unit.
For a team with high hopes and big-time playoff aspirations like Arizona, losing matches like they did last week are certainly disappointing. Though the season is still young, you can bet head coach Kliff Kingsbury will definitely prioritize a big bounceback effort against another supposedly inferior opponent. But the Panthers have shown some feist of late, and could make this game more troubling than most might think. It should make for a fascinating contest within the NFC come Sunday. As always, keep reading beneath the posted odds for further team news and a full betting prediction for Carolina vs. Arizona in Week 4 action.
Arizona Cardinals vs. Carolina Panthers Betting Odds:
Arizona Cardinals -3.5 (+100)
@ Carolina Panthers +3.5 (-120)
Over 52 (-110)
Under 52 (-110)
*Betting odds provided by BetOnline.ag
Arizona Cardinals vs. Carolina Panthers Pick:
Looking back to last week, it sure is puzzling to watch back Kyler Murray’s performance vs. the depleted Detroit Lions. After looking so stellar and so elusive on offense in earlier games, Murray’s progress clearly hit a heavy speed bump in Week 3.
The former Oklahoma product missed key reads in many key situations and threw three interceptions. And shockingly, that number could have and likely should have been more. There was little deception on his drop-backs, and this was against a heavily weakened Lions’ secondary.
He’ll get a chance for redemption on Sunday against a Panthers team that also has been struggling within their secondary. DeAndre Hopkins and Christian Kirk are both healthy for Murray and they should be able to get some positive momentum within their aerial attack. In short passing situations, Kenyan Drake remains an elite option in space. Carolina also has been porous against the run, as their linebackers are clearly having a tough time adjusting to life without veteran Luke Kuechly. This is a big shot at a bounceback for the Cards’ offense.
That said, the Panthers too are primed for a big rebound effort when they have the ball. They were sloppy early in the season, but Bridgewater and his Panthers’ teammates showed great fortitude and ability against a stout Chargers’ defense in Week 3. It’ll get easier this week against an Arizona stop unit that has some major flaws.
On the ground, Mike Davis can’t ever replace Christian McCaffrey, but he sure came close in Week 3. He showed a great burst and elusiveness, and has emerged as an excellent receiver out of the backfield. Arizona’s linebackers haven’t tracked well at all this year, and Davis should emerge as a trusted and effective check-down option come Sunday.
With the early start time, look for the Cardinals to maybe start off a bit sluggish as they head to the other side of the country. Arizona is also badly depleted within their secondary, and while their offense should score – their defense has no shot at stopping anybody, even Carolina. At home, look for Bridgewater and the Panthers to keep things tight and cover this number.