The Carolina Panthers are coming off their second win in the last three games with the 35-10 trouncing of the Minnesota Vikings. The defense kept last year’s NFL MVP, RB Adrian Peterson, bottled up for the entire game. The Rams have no such running threat and a QB with accuracy issues of his own in Sam Bradford.
I know that the Panthers have actually played better on the road in general under the Rivera/Newton era, which certainly complicates things, but the team has some measure of momentum – at least on the defensive side of the ball. While the Panthers have faced some weak running teams in Arizona and the New York Giants, they’ve also faced a couple of great ones in Seattle and Minnesota.
None of them were very successful toting the rock over the course of the entire game as the Panthers have solidified their reputation as a defensive powerhouse.
I think the Rams’ strengths play into those of the Panthers while their weaknesses (passing accuracy for one) could spell trouble in the turnover department for the visiting team. Carolina’s emerging ball-hawks in the secondary, namely safety Mike Mitchell and corner Josh Norman, should have several chances to snag an errant pass and change the game’s outlook.
On the other hand, the Rams have won their last two games in blowout fashion. Combine that with the streaky team that is the Carolina Panthers, and this game is one of the more highly unpredictable ones in the NFL this week.
That having been said, let’s take a look at what the staff here at catcrave.com thinks:
I think if the Rams are going to have much of a chance, they are going to have to get turnovers of their own. Carolina’s defense won’t allow them to get their running game going as the Panthers vault to a 10-0 lead by the second quarter. Rams QB Sam Bradford, forced into the air, will be harassed by the Panthers defensive line as the game progresses and things could get ugly in the second half. I see the Panthers winning the turnover battle 3 to 1 and the game by a score of 27-10.
Pick to click: Since the Rams should be forced to throw the ball and the Panthers can pressure Bradford from a variety of sources, I’m looking for safety Mike Mitchell to continue his thieving ways with another pick or two this week. 6 tackles, an INT, 3 passes defended or thereabouts is what I’m looking for from Mitchell.
Joe Riollano: This week we face the Rams. The team is very much like us. We both have inconsistent offenses and pretty good defenses. Of course I like Carolina in this one. The score will be 21-10.
Pick to click: Thomas Davis. His inspired play will continue.
Pick: Carolina 28 St. Louis 20
Why: After the Minnesota game I am extremely high on the Panthers. The Coaching Staff has done a fantastic job with the play calls, with Mike Shula deserving a ton of credit. This is a tough game to pick, but I think the Panthers have this one. I figure it should be close but the panthers have what it takes to pull this one out.
Pick to Click: The Offense
Mike Shula is making the calls that make Chud look awful. His mixture of rushing and passing attack have really opened up the offense for everyone to produce.