Looking to bounce back, both the Chicago Bears (2-2) and the Carolina Panthers (2-2) will try to get their third win of the season when they clash this Sunday at 1 PM ET, at the Bank of America Stadium, in the NFL week 5.
Both teams are plagued with injuries and inconsistant play from their QBs, but both have enough talent to be considered playoffs contenders in the NFC. For this matchup the Panthers are 2.5 point favorites in the NFL betting odds, and the game total is currently at -45.5.
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) October 4, 2014
The Carolina Panthers started the season winning their two games and covering the spread on both matchups, but then, failed miserably against two AFC north opponents, the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Baltimore Ravens.
Head coach Ron Rivera’s team has decimated by injuries early and often in the season, losing his three running backs: Mike Tolbert, DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart because of injuries. Their starting tailback for this week will be an undrafted free agent out of Alabama-Birmingham named Darrin Reaves, who has exactly 12 attempts for 26 yards on his short NFL career.
Carolina’s success in 2013 was came on QB Cam Newton protection and his ability to run, but this season their offensive has been awful in every sense of the word, not only getting Newton sacked 9 times this season (tied with 5 most), but making the run ranked third worst in the NFL in rushing yards. Newton had offseason surgery on his ankle and he is still working his way to 100%. Combine that with a couple of broken ribs in the preseason and you have a recipe for 3 and outs.
In the 38-10 loss against the Baltimore Ravens, the o-line give up three sacks, three hits and five hurries in 71 dropbacks from Newton.
To make it worst the Chicago Bears are tied fifth with the most sacks recorded this season with nine.
— Carolina Panthers (@Panthers) October 4, 2014
Carolina’s best shot to win at home comes on defense and their biggest challenge will be stopping the Chicago Bears’ passing offense, which is 14 th in the NFL in passing yards (242.3 yards)
The Panthers know no quarterback has more passing yards in the red zone than Jay Cutler. He has completed 16 of 28 passes for 133 yards for 10 touchdowns and no interceptions, but in the middle of the field he has thrown 4 INTs, two of them in the 38-17 loss against the Green Bay Packers.
If I have to be honest, I don’t feel good putting my money on Cutler away from home, but I just see a difficult matchup for the Panthers on offense. QB Cam Newton used to be a fantasy football stud, but he has thrown just three touchdowns (all to rookie WR Kelvin Benjamin, by the way) in the season and hasn’t recorded more than 19 yards rushing the ball in a game.
Newton has a rib injury that he has been nursing, and the unstable offensive line doesn’t help at all. How will the Panthers put points on the board to match with the Bears? I just don’t see it.
In addition, the last time the Bears visited Carolina in 2010 they won 23-6 and covered the spread as +3 point dogs.