4 keys to victory for the Panthers at Washington in Week 16

(Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) Teddy Bridgewater
(Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) Teddy Bridgewater /
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Carolina Panthers
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Taylor Moton /

Edge protection

Washington’s defensive line is loaded with talent. They have first-round picks everywhere you look and their level of production this season is one of the primary reasons why the team is in pole position to clinch the NFC East crown.

The biggest danger for the Carolina Panthers comes from the edge. Montez Sweat and Chase Young have 12.5 sacks between them in 2020 and they are backed up by another prolific presence in the form of Ryan Kerrigan – a four-time Pro Bowler who has 95.5 career quarterback takedowns.

This is going to be the stiffest of challenges for a protection that could be without veteran left tackle Russell Okung once again. Taylor Moton is a formidable presence on the right side who will be tasked with keeping Young quiet. But whether Trenton Scott can hold up to his end of the bargain on the other side of the field remains to be seen.

The last thing Teddy Bridgewater needs is to be tormented by pass-rushers when his confidence seems to be slipping away. Washington has plenty of added incentive with a playoff spot at stake and this increased sense of urgency could be a real problem for the Panthers if they’re not fully up for the challenge.