The Panthers at 4-2 sit right about where I thought they would be. Swap the Washington and Philadelphia outcomes and I would be six for six. Many preseason prognosticators were not so optimistic though. Before I go any further I realize there is a lot of football left and I am not trying to jinx the Panthers either Blue Christian McCaffrey Jersey
, obviously. They still have some very tough games left, so I’m certainly not expecting a 10-0 finish either. Lord no.I find it fun to pick the upcoming games now that we know a little more about our opponents, so I thought I would let you join in. My preseason prediction was 11 wins and I’m sticking to that. Yet not all of the predictors were bearish, this one is close to mine. Here’s how I see it playing out. Feel free to share your predictions in the thread.Panthers vs Ravens — Ravens win a close one; Panthers 4-3Panthers vs Buccaneers — Panthers win a shoot out; Panthers 5-3Panthers at Steelers— Panthers get behind early, no comeback this time; Panthers 5-4Panthers at Lions — Panthers rebound just as they did in Philly; Panthers 6-4Panthers vs Seahawks— Panthers start a late season win streak; Panthers 7-4Panthers at Bucs — Winston has a melt down; Panthers 8-4Panthers at Browns— Panthers continue to play well versus failing teams; Panthers 9-4Panthers vs Saints — Panthers finally end the losing streak to the Saints; Panthers 10-4Panthers vs Falcons— Panthers get revenge for week 2 loss; Panthers 11-4Panthers at Saints — Panthers come close but can’t pull the upset; 11-5They win a wildcard slot as the Saints win the division again. I really hate typing that but the Saints look pretty damn good. Tomorrow’s match-up against the Ravens will be a good comparison to how we match up with the Saints. The Saints only managed 21 points against the Ravens defense. It took kicker Justin Tucker’s first ever missed point after in his career for the Ravens to lose by one. I’m not predicting a win versus the Ravens but I would love to be wrong as well. I think the Panthers have gained some confidence over these past couple of games and know they can play with anybody if they simply execute.James Bradberry vs Julio Jones headlines several key player matchups as the Panthers head to Atlanta to face the Falcons Both the Panthers and Falcons enter this game quite banged up, and each team will have opportunities to capitalize on that. However, these teams still have a lot of their core players, and those guys will need to step up. With that in mind here are your key match ups.James Bradberry vs. Julio JonesIt is really no secret that Jones will be a major factor on Sunday. As one of few wide receivers to ever log 300 yards in one game, he is no stranger to being the focal point of the passing game. This Panthers secondary could end up getting torched once again, however James Bradberry believes in himself. The team drafted him to be a top cover corner, and he is in position to do so. Julio Jones is a tall order ahead of him. If he really wants to follow in the steps of Josh Norman and Xavier Rhodes then this is where it starts.Dontari Poe vs. Alex MackWhile Julio Jones will be a focal point, the Falcons like to run the football. At this juncture, it is unknown if Devonta Freeman will play Christian McCaffrey Jersey 2019
, but even if he doesn’t Tevin Coleman is a threat on his own. The Panthers dominated the line of scrimmage against the Cowboys, allowing Luke Kuechly and Shaq Thompson to attack the rushers and pressure Dak Prescott in the pocket. While Kawann Short and Mario Addison did a bit of the statistical leg work, it starts in the middle with Poe and Mack. This match up can dictate the entire line of scrimmage battle.Taylor Moton vs. Vic Beasley/Takkarist McKinleyThe Panthers’ offensive line is in shambles right now. Between Daryl Williams going on IR, Trai Turner going into the concussion protocol, and Amini Silatolu simply being in the lineup, the Falcons have a plus matchup across the defensive line. This means Moton will likely be on an island no matter what side of the line he plays on, since additional resources will need to be devoted to helping either Silatolu or one of the Panthers’ newest tackles. Moton will also be critical in the running game on the edge, meaning he needs to show up for this game for the team to sustain any sort of offense.Christian McCaffrey vs. Falcons linebackersIn addition to Moton, McCaffrey will need to show up in pretty much every facet of the game. Without Greg Olsen, McCaffrey should be tasked with being Cam Newton’s security blanket both down the field and out of the backfield. In addition, expect the Panthers to try to establish the running game early in an effort to alleviate some pass rush. I’d also expect some screens in the event the Falcons come out firing with blitzes. McCaffrey is going to be a major part of the offense going forward, as he is one of the few Panthers who can make a play on any given down.Who else are you watching?