I managed to hit the nail on the head last week having picked the Falcons to win 31-17. Having predicted a big day by Michael Turner and 3 Cam Newton turnovers, I decided to quit my day job and do this full-time. (Not really.) So I've gotten 4 of 6 games right so far, missing losses to the Cards and Saints.
At the beginning of each year there are a few teams that get out to a fast start, only to fizzle as the season progresses, and finish well out of the playoffs. I believe the Redskins are one of those teams this year. The reason being, they are not good enough at the QB position. Good Rex Grossman might be, but he splits game reps with Bad Rex, and Coach Shanahan revealed that his leash for pulling Bad Rex out of the lineup was a very short one, less than one bad game in.
John Beck is 30 years old. He has 8 fumbles and 3 interceptions in 6 career games. He has not proven himself as a legitimate starting caliber NFL QB. I personally don't think he is one. If John Beck can make our defense look bad, then we will have to admit that our defense is really, really bad. We need a good day from Gamble on Moss, a triple team on their remaining healthy good TE, and a big game from our pass rush.
The Redskins running game has been hot and cold; they have had some big games on the ground with Hightower and Torain; they have had some other games where they were very ineffective. My greatest fear is that they pound Torain against us 30 carries for who knows how many yards.
SuperCam Newton has played some very strong defenses like the Packers and Bears and held his own, leading the Panthers to scoring 20 or more points in 4 of our 6 games. Being at home should help. Despite alot of red jerseys in the stands, it will still be a friendly environment.
I also think we are playing the Redskins at a good time: when Beck struggles by turning the ball over, the Skins are going to be in the middle of an "aha" moment that goes something like this: "Oh, we really aren't as good as we thought we were in the beginning of the year."
In our first 6 games on the schedule, 4 of them were particularly difficult matchups: the Packers and Saints at home, two of the top teams in the NFC; and the Bears and the Falcons on the road, two very good teams as well. I say that to say this: our talent is better than our 1-5 record. I believe this week will prove me right.
The Panthers want this one more than the Redskins. And the Panthers are good enough to beat bad/below average teams at home. They did it against the Jaguars; they will do it again this week.
It won't be pretty; the Redskins' ground game and solid defense will not make this an easy game. But because we are at home, hungry, and playing a Skins team that will prove themselves to be below average by season's end, a Skins team that is lacking at the QB position, the Panthers have the edge this week:
Panthers 23 Redskins 20
That’s how I see it. What about you Panthers fans? How do you see this Sunday’s game? You make the call,
Let’s hear it!