Carolina Panthers vs. New England Patriots – Week 9
Despite former Carolina Panther Cam Newton starting the preseason for the New England Patriots, Mac Jones is going to be the starter this season barring injury.
Jones was impressive in early warmup games and earned the starting job for New England.
The Patriots are going to be much improved this season. They led the league in players who opted out in 2020 and made a frenzy of free-agent signings. Getting back so many veterans while still making impactful additions is going to be enough to carry this team back to the playoffs.
The only argument for Carolina in this matchup is if Sam Darnold will prove to be better than expected by Week 9. If not, the Patriots will have the better record, defense, offensive line, special teams, and coaching staff.
The only position Carolina has a clear advantage is their superior skill position players. However, this will not be enough to beat a superior Patriots team.
The Panthers’ only hope in this game is if Jones were to flop and the Patriots are forced to go to Brian Hoyer. Otherwise, New England’s roster is too experienced and talented for Carolina.
Carolina will keep this game close but New England’s expected to return to something like their old selves are going to be the difference in a game that will come down to the final two minutes.
Prediction: New England Patriots 28 Carolina Panthers 20 (6-3)