3 reasons the Carolina Panthers can beat Washington in Week 11

(Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports) Cam Newton
(Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports) Cam Newton /
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Carolina Panthers
(Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports) Christian McCaffrey /

Carolina Panthers can take advantage of Washington’s porous defense

When Ron Rivera led the Washington Football Team to the playoffs in 2020, it was in large part thanks to a stout defense. Unfortunately, this area of the field hasn’t been nearly the same in 2021.

Washington currently ranks 27th in total yards allowed per game, and 28th in points per contest, surrendering an average of 27.3. With that being said, it’s safe to say the defense has struggled this season.

Thanks to those struggles, the Carolina Panthers will have an opportunity to pick up right where they left off offensively at the Arizona Cardinals. The team’s 34 points last week were the most since Week 3 of the 2019 season, a game that was coincidentally also against the NFC West outfit.

The Panthers dominated in all facets of the game last week, rushing for 166 yards and picking up 24 first downs, all while keeping the ball for nearly 40 minutes.

Assuming Christian McCaffrey is his usual self, there’s no reason to think that the Panthers’ offense won’t keep up the good work. Especially if Cam Newton starts and has a good grip on the scheme.

Add in the fact that D.J. Moore quietly ranks in the top 13 in both receptions and yards, and you have the makings of a pretty good offense. And maybe, just maybe, Carolina’s offensive line is starting to improve.

Shifting back to Washington’s perspective, they couldn’t have gotten worse news this week than they did. Defensive Rookie of the Year and first-round pick Chase Young suffered a torn ACL and will miss the remainder of the season. Washington is also currently missing its other star pass-rusher Montez Sweat, who is on injured reserve with a fractured jaw.

All in all, the Washington defense is a shadow of itself from last season, and that bodes well for a Panthers offense that is trying to find its groove in the second half of the year. Sunday marks a big opportunity for Newton and the rest of Joe Brady’s bunch, so they need to make the most of it and reward what has been an elite Carolina defense.