Panthers Sunday Morning Paw Prints

Here is a rare Sunday morning paw prints for your reading pleasure. So pour a cup of coffee, pull up a chair and enjoy.

The big news game-wise is Adrian Peterson says he will play in spite of the horrible tragedy that played out last week

Vikings star Adrian Peterson said he plans to play in spite of tragedy | Carolina Panthers | Rock Hill Herald Online
It’s terrible. It’s absolutely terrible," Panthers coach Ron Rivera. "Our thoughts and prayers go out to him and his family and hopefully things work out. "This is a very, very young life and a personal family situation and again, our thoughts and prayers go out to him."

He is a stronger man than me...Sticking with the game at hand, the Panthers are obviously intent on stopping him.

Panthers worried about RB Peterson, not Vikings QBs " Sports " Claremore Daily Progress
"He's electric,'' Kuechly said. "He's got everything you want in a running back. He's quick, strong, powerful, explosive and he can run. He's one of those guys where everybody knows about and everybody knows what he can do.''

The Vikings are expected to start Matt Cassel at quarterback after he led Minnesota to its first win over the season over the Pittsburgh Steelers before the bye. However, there's a chance the recently signed Josh Freeman could see action, too. "Switching up the quarterback might change up some things, but we have to be concerned with stopping the run,'' Panthers linebacker Chase Blackburn said. "Stop the run first and the rest sort of falls in line.

I have a hard time deciding which Vikings QB I'd like to face more.

After last weeks offensive line melt down we can expect the Vikings to blitz in kind:

Panthers at Vikings: Joe Person’s three things to watch | Carolina Panthers | Rock Hill Herald Online
Counter the blitz After seeing the Panthers’ offensive line and quarterback Cam Newton struggle against the Cardinals’ blitz last week, Vikings defensive coordinator Alan Williams almost certainly will try to get Newton rattled with pressure. The Panthers need to take advantage of that aggressiveness with screens, draws and more runs for Newton, who is at his best when he’s making plays with his feet as well as his arm. Letting Newton sit in the pocket the whole game is asking for trouble.

So is Rivera sounding like a broken record?

Panthers coach Ron Rivera not happy over team’s up and down play following 1-3 start to season - Washington Post
"We’re not there," Rivera said. Still, he expects more from his team. "We’re a young football in some respects — and in other respects we should have arrived by now," Rivera said. "What we have to do is eliminate those types of mistakes. If you want to win football games you can’t have those types of mistakes on a consistent basis." The Panthers felt like they were on the right path after their blowout win over the Giants before the bye week. Any momentum from that win has evaporated. "We’re not going to sob or get beside ourselves and go in our shells," Newton said after Sunday’s loss. "... We have to play with a sense of urgency, but at the same time, we still have opportunities. Our future is still bright."

I believe Newton is speaking for himself and not Rivera ;)

Looking at the match-ups here are the two key ones in my view:

Minnesota Vikings: Five Things to Watch in Week 6 vs. Carolina Panthers - Yahoo Sports
Minnesota cornerbacks vs. Carolina receivers

If the Vikings could defend the pass, this team could easily be 2-2 or 3-1 and there may not be any quarterback controversy. Chris Cook is returning from an injury that sidelined him against the Steelers, while Josh Robinson has been getting victimized on a continual basis. The Vikings need improved play from their corners or it could be a long Sunday.

Vikings front four vs. Carolina offensive line

The Arizona Cardinals showed what happens when you can put pressure on Carolina's Cam Newton, as the Panthers quarterback was sacked seven times and committed four turnovers in Arizona's 22-6 victory. The Vikings must get to Newton in order to protect the secondary.

On a positive note the Panthers do seem to land at least one free agent every year that is a pleasant surprise. This year WR Ted Ginn is in the running:

Ted Ginn has proven he can play WR - Carolina Panthers Blog - ESPN
"Ted has already kind of shattered the stigma of just being a special teams player," quarterback Cam Newton said. "He gives this offense an added dimension that keeps the defensive backs on their heels no matter who is back there. "You have to respect his speed, but at the same time his hands have gotten better. He can run a slant. He can catch a hitch. He can catch a comeback."

The Panthers plan to throw a new coat of paint on BoA:

Carolina Panthers to tap NFL loan pool for renovations - Charlotte Business Journal

The stadium money, known as the G-4 fund, comes from a pool of shared revenue in the NFL and affords teams favorable loan terms. Danny Morrison, Panthers president, told me Friday the team plans to pay for part of its $37.5 million renovation commitment at Bank of America Stadium using the NFL fund.

From the 'Extremely Unlikely File' we have this speculation:

Could the Carolina Panthers Pursue Tom Coughlin? - NFL Mocks - 2013 NFL Mock Draft, Fantasy Football, NFL News, and NFL Mock Draft Databases

What’s even worse for him is there are a number of viable replacements the Carolina Panthers front office could look to if he doesn’t get it done.  Recently dismissed Chicago Bears head coach Lovie Smith is off for the year but should return in 2014.  Superb San Francisco coordinators Greg Roman and Vic Fangio are also primed for head jobs of their own.  However, one name the Panthers can’t afford to ignore is Tom Coughlin.  His New York Giants have fallen to an astounding 0-6.  This after winning the Super Bowl in 2011 and posting a 9-7 record last year.  Such a slide has left some to believe the Giants players have begun to tune Coughlin out after being with the team since 2004.

There will actually be three Kalils on the field this Sunday, Ryan, Matt and sister Danielle, who will sing the national anthem:

Carolina's Ryan Kalil has edge over brother Matt so far - ESPN

"I've been trying to bribe her to wear a Panthers jersey," Ryan said. "It's not happening so far." It probably won't. But there will be bragging rights at stake even though the brothers haven't made a friendly wager -- yet. "That's a good idea," Ryan said. "I might make him take his jersey off after the game."

So they all sing...How about 'The Singing Kalils' as a name? It has a nice ring to it.

Looking at the lines, the computer simulations like us a gain. After last week though they can go suck it!

Top NFL Picks - Week 6 - AccuScore

Carolina Panthers +113 at Minnesota Vikings The Panthers are just one point underdogs which gives incentive to take the ML in this instance rather than the points.  They are winning 56 percent of the time in simulations outright, and that is with DeAngelo Williams averaging just 2.7 yards per carry on 15 attempts.  If Carolina can put together any semblance of a running game or just allowed Cam Newton to run the ball himself a bit, it would have a significantly better offensive output that the one in simulations.  That scenario would only improve the projected winning percentage.  This is a solid value play.

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