3 pivotal matchups that will decide Carolina Panthers game vs. Vikings in Week 4

Terrace Marshall Jr.
Terrace Marshall Jr. / Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports
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Justin Jefferson vs. Carolina Panthers CBs

Let's just get the elephant out of the room first here and touch on Justin Jefferson.

Jefferson is one of the best wide receivers in the NFL and there really isn't much competition. This fact would be a problem for most teams in the league, but even more so for a Carolina Panthers squad that was already suspect on the backend before the injury bug took hold.

At this point, it looks like the duo that will be in charge of covering Jefferson will be some combination of Donte Jackson, Troy Hill, and Jeremy Chinn if C.J. Henderson isn't available. This doesn't exactly instill any confidence.

Trying to cover someone who is already halfway to a 1,000-yard receiving season just three games into the year would be difficult for even the best of cornerbacks. But the Panthers will be trotting out an embattled starter, a veteran journeyman, and a linebacker masquerading as a defensive back.

The Panthers cornerback room is a far cry from even average at this point. This could see that 152 receiving yards-per-game average shoot up exponentially for Jefferson.

This is without even touching on the fact that the Panthers will also be without the player who would be slid over to help double a weapon like that in Xavier Woods. The team has faith in Jammie Robinson, but there isn't much chance of that working out for the better.

It isn't a matter of negating Jefferson, it is a matter of limiting the damage that will most definitely be done by the superstar receiver. It will be a long day for this Panthers secondary no matter who is back there.