In week 4 the Panthers were able to defeat a talented Arizona Cardinals team at home in Charlotte. The team is now on an impressive 2 game winning streak. It was another big week for the defense, allowing only 3 first downs on third down plays. The defense is leading the NFL over the last two weeks in tackles for loss. Rookie Jeremy Chinn is currently leading all rookies in total tackles and fellow rookie Derrick Brown is near the top of the list in tackles for loss. This defense is young but they certainly have raised their level of play after a disappointing start to the season. On offense the Panthers were surprisingly efficient scoring 4 touchdowns in their first 5 red zone trips. A week before in Los Angeles they were only getting field goals in the red zone so you can tell that was addressed by the coaches in practice this past week. Running back Mike Davis continued to take full advantage of his opportunities, gaining 111 total yards from scrimmage and adding a rushing touchdown. Teddy Bridgewater appears to be in complete control of this offense, continuing to prove his doubters wrong. With Christian Mccaffrey still out with injury it seems that everyone else has stepped up.
Week 4 Review
Going into this matchup with Arizona most of the “experts” (including myself) picked the Cardinals to win. Well honestly I don’t think anyone outside of that locker room expected that kind of performance. The offense recorded 30 first downs which is a tie for the most in FRANCHISE history. I don’t think anyone projected that especially with the team missing Mccaffrey. Teddy is playing at an elite level right now recording a 98.5 qbr and adding 3 total touchdowns. If he keeps this up, just wait until Mccaffrey comes back; This offense is dynamic and they’re starting to put it all together. Some opposing defensive coordinators are going to have some long nights attempting to prepare for this Panthers offense going forward.
WEEK 5 PREVIEW
Next up on the schedule is a familiar foe; the Panthers will travel to Atlanta to take on Matt Ryan and the Falcons. The Falcons are off to an abysmal start, they’re sitting at 0-4 after many projected them as a playoff team this year. Their 2 top receivers, Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley, have been battling injuries in recent weeks. It appears at the moment that Julio will miss another game this week. The Falcons defense has also struggled to start the season. Giving up 2 double digit leads late in the game which have lead to 2 heart breaking defeats.
This game is crucial for both teams. The Panthers are looking to continue their winning streak and get a win over a divisional opponent. The Falcons are looking to just get off the mat. Sitting at 0-4 especially with the high expectations in Atlanta, they’re going to be hungry get that first victory.
The Panthers and Falcons almost always play close games. They usually will go back and forth all game with the game coming down to the fourth quarter. With this one being played in Atlanta i’m leaning towards picking the Falcons. The Falcons will be in desperation mode and are going to come out swinging. Their offense is still very explosive and they’re going to put up some points. Although the Panthers defense has been much improved as of late, Atlanta still has one of the better offensive units in the league. I think it will be close and will come down to the final possession. I’m going to say Atlanta 34 Carolina 31. This pick is more of Atlanta being desperate for a win and playing at home. Also the Falcons have seemed to have the Panthers number in recent years.
After this tough loss to Atlanta, the Panthers will be brought back to earth after an encouraging 2 game winning streak. Now they will be sitting at 2-3 but again even when they lose they are still going to get better week to week. Hopefully the defense can build off their recent success but they are still young and bound to have some growing pains. The offense is playing very well at the moment. They will continue to build momentum as they await the return of All-Pro Christian Mccaffrey. I believe that Carolina has an outside shot at that 7th playoff spot that the NFL added this year but I’m not overly confident in that statement. Wait until next year Panthers fans, a full year in Matt Rhule’s system and a full season of experience for all these young players will be greatly beneficial. The only way to go is up for this team. So try to stay positive, as Panthers legend Sam Mills would say “Keep Pounding”.