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frozenmail.net October 24, 2017


By the numbers: Panthers vs. Patriots

01 October 2017, 09:53 | Randolph Howard

By the numbers: Panthers vs. Patriots

New England Patriots running back Mike Gillislee scores a touchdown during the second half of an NFL football game against the Kansas City Chiefs Thursday Sept. 7 2017 in Foxborough Mass

It's never an easy task for a team to go on the road, and it only gets tougher when the opponent is the New England Patriots.

The New England Patriots are on a roll. Last week, he rallied his team to a victory against Houston in the final minute, proving he still has what it takes to beat a good defense in crunch time. The Panthers defense is not anything to laugh at, but they need a lot more talent if they want to take down Brady in his own house. To do this, their offense has to wake up fast. Through three games, Carolina is allowing just 252 yards per game. In the first three games so far, Cam Newton has 566 yards, two touchdowns and four interceptions.

"Let's start talking about what this really means and how we can do things as an organization, as a community and start bringing closure to this", Rivera said. The only negative has been a bad pick thrown by Cam Newton into double coverage. Whether he has health issues or technique issues is unknown, but historically he is a better player than he's shown. However, Cam is not the only one to blame. "He's done a nice job handling it and looked good in practice today as well". In fact, he and Ereck Flowers are tied for most sacks given up by a starting left tackle.

These are historic numbers for a Belichick-coached Patriots defense.

Last week, Drew Brees chewed up and spat out the Panthers defense. The two connected for a game-winning score against the Texans last week. Not looking forward to the post-Brady era. With Brandon Cooks finally having his first breakout game as a Patriot last week, Carolina will have to do anything possible to keep New England off-balance. They'll get another opportunity this weekend against the Patriots, who slid down to the bottom spot after giving up 33 points to the Texans.

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Breaking a bad habit: The Panthers have been terrible in the red zone, tied for last in the league with a 25 percent touchdown success rate.

The Patriots have seen quarterback Tom Brady play at a high level to start the season, and that is promising because some thought he would begin to decline by now. When McCaffrey is in the game without Stewart, the Panthers pass the ball 67 percent of the time. Veteran defensive end Julius Peppers is questionable with a shoulder injury. Despite the win, and another stellar performance by the NFL's top-ranked offense, Bill Belichick and defensive coordinator Matt Patricia clearly have some work to do.

Newton's role in Carolina's victories hasn't been as big this season, though. Earlier this season, Panthers stalwart tight end Greg Olsen went down with a broken foot, and just to make matters worse, pro-bowl wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin damaged the same knee that sidelined him for a year. They've given up 18 plays of 20 or more yards and seven of 40 or more. He could see more time Sunday with cornerback Daryl Worley dealing with a shoulder injury.

New England is also without a big weapon as their top receiver Julian Edelman was lost in the preseason to a torn ACL.

Julius Peppers, now 37, was in his second year in the National Football League that season and started for Carolina in that Super Bowl.



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