Carolina Panthers Week 3 preview and prediction vs. the Cincinnati Bengals.
Following an impressive opening week victory over the Dallas Cowboys, the Carolina Panthers defense faltered against divisional rival Atlanta. The Panthers failed to reach quarterback Matt Ryan after generating six sacks in their first game.
Playing behind a continually shifting offensive line, Cam Newton nearly orchestrated a late game drive to tie the Falcons but Carolina fell short after trailing by multiple scores on two different occasions in the second half.
Cincinnati remains one of only seven undefeated teams, winning on the road at Indianapolis in Week 1 before cruising to a victory over Baltimore in their first home contest. Carolina is facing their second consecutive opponent coming off a Thursday night game the week prior.
2018 SEASON: CAROLINA PANTHERS (1-1) vs. CINCINNATI BENGALS (2-0)
KICKOFF: Sunday, September 23 at 1:00 PM ET
TV: CBS Broadcast Coverage Map
LOCATION: Bank of America Stadium (Charlotte, NC)
WEATHER: 83 degrees, 75% humidity, 6mph NE wind, 20% precipitation
LAST MEETING: 37-37, TIE – October 12, 2014 (WEEK 6)
WHAT TO WATCH:
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Two necessary adjustments should be prevalent when Carolina takes to the field for their second home game this season. On defense, coordinator Eric Washington needs to instill a sense of urgency into his defensive line. After a good showing to start the year, this unit had arguably their worst performance in recent memory.
Not only do they need to control their gaps and keep Cincinnati from opening up running lanes for Joe Mixon but they must find a way to pressure quarterback Andy Dalton. Washington dialing up a few creative pressures from the linebackers and secondary would be a nice adjustment if the line begins to struggle as they did last week.
Offensively, both running backs Christian McCaffrey and C.J. Anderson should see more carries, at least initially. Obviously the game situations are going to play into Norv Turner’s playcalling but establishing a running game with both backs would help to open up some of the passing game moving forward.
Returning home expect Carolina to make these necessary adjustments and for the defense to reinstate a sense of trust and confidence for their coaches, teammates and fans. Newton gets the offense on track and the defense does their part to preserve a win.
PREDICTION: Carolina Panthers – 30, Cincinnati Bengals – 24