Panthers at Chiefs: Prediction, best bets and what to expect

(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) Teddy Bridgewater
(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) Teddy Bridgewater /
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Carolina Panthers
(Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports) Christian McCaffrey /

Carolina Panthers at Chiefs: What to expect

There will be plenty of intrigue surrounding the Carolina Panthers if they decide to activate Christian McCaffrey. The star running back could make his long-awaited return after a six-week absence and the lift this could give the roster is substantial.

The Chiefs will have been preparing for such an eventuality all week, of that there is little doubt. McCaffrey has been looking the part on his return to practice and Matt Rhule appears confident in the All-Pro’s ability to take the field at Arrowhead Stadium when speaking to reporters on Thursday.

"“Christian looked good. He looked fresh and fast. If we played right now, I feel he’d be able to play.”"

While McCaffrey coming back might not tip the odds too much in Carolina’s favor, it does give them their best player on offense for the first time since he went off at the Buccaneers with a high ankle sprain in Week 2. It’s important for the Panthers not to put too much on his shoulders early on, but their best chances of success would be keeping Patrick Mahomes off the field for as long as possible.

Controlling the clock is going to be key. Teddy Bridgewater has to command the line of scrimmage better than he did against the Falcons and ensure he distributes the ball efficiently.

Generating pressure on Mahomes will also be of critical importance. The signal-caller will get his share of touchdowns, as he always does. But limiting his influence might just give the Panthers a chance.

Simply put, everything has to go right for Carolina, and even that might not be enough.