The Carolina Panthers and New England Patriots meet for a battle of 2-1 teams. They both have recent appearances in the Super Bowl, the Panthers a loss, against the Denver Broncos in Peyton Manning’s curtain call. Cam Newton rolled snake-eyes against the Broncos, looking like he may have had a few too many drinks the night before the Super Bowl. Von Miller wreaked havoc on the Panthers’ offense, helping Manning go out with a Super Bowl. Fast forward to today, and the Panthers are not a Super Bowl team, while on the other side, the Patriots won another since then.
The Patriots are looking to repeat as champions, but did not look like a champion last week or in Week 1 against the Chiefs. They needed to go into survival mode against the Texans, needing a vintage Tom Brady last minute touchdown drive to deliver a victory. Brady connected with Brandin Cooks for a 25-yard score with 23 seconds remaining on the clock. He concluded the day with 5 touchdowns and 378 yards. Since struggling in Week 1 against the Chiefs, Brady has been putting up monster numbers. He has thrown for 875 yards and 8 touchdowns in just two weeks.
I would say that Brady was woken up after the Chiefs beat them in Week 1. That wasn’t his strongest game, but we’ve seen from the last two weeks why Brady has a lot left in the tank. The problem for the Patriots against the Texans was their defense. Bill Belichick and the Pats usually give rookie quarterbacks a ton of issues.
However, Deshaun Watson stood in there and played well, passing for 301 yards and a couple of touchdowns. He also rushed for 41 yards. The Patriots appeared to have issues on defense in their third game of the preseason, and nothing has changed for them in the regular season. Brady is capable of putting up big numbers on the scoreboard, but the defense is going to need to help out. We’ll see what Cam Newton and the Panther offense brings to the table in Foxboro this afternoon. Head below for our free Panthers vs. Patriots pick.
Carolina Panthers vs. New England Patriots Betting Odds:
vs. Patriots -9(-110)
Odds provided by Bovada.lv
Panthers vs. Patriots Pick:
Offensively the Patriots should roll this season. Week 2 and 3 are probably going to be a regular occurrence for this Pats’ offense. Even more than ever, I think Tom Brady realizes he must pile on the points to win football games. The Pats will get Dont’a Hightower back on defense, a boost no doubt, but it looks like they need more help elsewhere, too. The Panthers’ offense has been sputtering though, so perhaps this is a nice opportunity for them to have a breakout performance.
Newton is on the heels of an ugly performance against the New Orleans Saints. He threw 3 interceptions with no touchdowns, for what was one of the worst starts of his career. Newton has 2 touchdowns and 4 interceptions thus far on the year. There are weapons in the offense, including Greg Olsen, Kelvin Benjamin, and Christian McCaffrey out of the backfield so no excuses for the Panthers or Cam.
The Patriots are 1st in total offense, averaging a staggering 440.7 yards per game. They are also lighting the scoreboard with 33 points per game. Conversely, the Panthers are 29th with 277 yards per game. The defense has been there for them, with just 251.7 yards allowed per game. However, while the numbers look nice, you have to look through them.
Their first two games were against a couple of the worst offenses in the NFL, the 49ers and Bills. When they were faced with a real offense a week ago, the Saints put up 34 points. The 49ers and Bills are a nice way to pad defensive stats. I expect another big day for Brady, as he continues to get comfortable with Cooks. It’s hard to lay 9 on a team with a struggling defense, though, so a play on the OVER is recommended here.
PICK: OVER 49 (-110)