TV Schedule: Sunday, Oct. 20, 1:00 p.m. ET, FOX
Stadium: Bank of America Stadium
Weather: High 73, Low 48
Line: Carolina (-7)
Coming into the season as a dark-horse favorite to win the NFC West, the St. Louis Rams are looking at a 3-3 record after an extremely slow start to the season. The Rams are depending on a fourth-year quarterback in Sam Bradford to improve from his average-at-best play in the last few seasons and become the top draft pick in talent that he was just four years ago. Bradford is looking to reach the 4,000-yard passing mark this season for the first time in his career, but he is not on the correct pace with 1,432 yards and 14 touchdowns on the season. Jared Cook remains the team’s leading receiver as a tight end with 22 catches for 311 yards and two touchdowns. Daryl Richardson lost his starting job to Zac Stacey who has 161 yards on 4.9 yards per carry in limited time this season.
On the other side of the field, the Carolina Panthers are looking to extend their solid play that showed up in the game against the Minnesota Vikings into week seven. The Panthers took to the road and demolished a Vikings team that looked lost. Cam Newton had one of the best games of his career and has silenced many critics who said he was a one-year wonder. The third-year quarterback has 1,127 yards and nine touchdowns through the air on the season to go along with 153 yards and two scores on the ground. Like the Rams, the Panthers’ leading receiver is a tight end in Greg Olsen who has 23 catches for 292 yards and a touchdown. DeAngelo Williams continues to impress with 394 yards on 91 carries but he has yet to reach the endzone on the ground.
Defensively, the Rams were expected to have one of the best units in the league in 2013. However, it has been anything but solid, allowing the third-most rushing yards and 10th-most total yards per game. The Panthers, on the other hand, have had one of the top units in the NFL. Carolina ranks third in the league in total yards allowed and second in the league in keeping teams out of the endzone, allowing just 13.6 points per game.
PREDICTION: Rams 13, Panthers 27