The Carolina Panthers take on the Washington Redskins in Charlotte following their heartbreaking loss in New Orleans to the Saints in Week 12.
The Panthers currently sit at 5-6 after their third straight loss. Last week kicker Joey Slye missed two extra points and a 28-yard field goal in the game’s final minutes. Carolina lost by three points. 34-31 was the final score.
At 5-6, the Panthers are still technically in the playoff hunt but they need to win out and get some help in order to realistically have a shot at postseason play.
The Redskins enter the matchup with a very poor record of 2-9, however, they are coming off a big win at home against the Detroit Lions last week.
After owner David Tepper’s recent comments about his impatience for mediocrity, it’s fair to say that Carolina has many questions and concerns that need to be addressed moving forward.
But we’ll just stick to the three biggest questions for this week’s matchup.
Question 1: Can Joey Slye make his field goal attempts?
As mentioned above, Slye missed three kicks that an NFL kicker absolutely needs to make. Some fans might even be questioning whether or not Slye deserves the chance he is getting this week.
Regardless, Slye is back for Week 13 but expect him to on an extremely short leash with one more short missed kick likely ending his career with the Panthers.
Head coach Ron Rivera is on the hot seat himself, so he cannot afford to keep a kicker around that causes his team to lose close games.
Question 2: Can the Panther’s offense stay hot?
All of the Panther’s top playmakers showed up last week against the Saints.
Running back Christian McCaffrey shows up each and every week, so no surprise there. He had a total of 133 yards from scrimmage and two touchdowns.
No. 1 wide receiver D.J. Moore has really got it going lately with 126 receiving yards and two touchdown catches last week against New Orleans.
If Moore and McCaffrey can continue their dominant performances, then they should be able to lead the team to victory against the Redskins.
Washington simply does not have the talent or firepower to compete with the Panther’s offensive weapons as long as they can continue to play like they did last week.
Question 3: Can the Panther’s defense make key stops?
The Saints scored on six out of eleven possessions against the Carolina defense last week. Considering the talent on the New Orleans offense, they didn’t do too bad of a job.
The Redskins are nowhere near as high-powered as the Saints are, so they should be able to limit their scoring drives.
Still, they have to do a better job at making key stops to get the victory.
The Panthers are currently 10-point favorites to win the matchup.
They should have no problem getting back to an even 6-6 record as long as they don’t make any dumb mistakes on defense.