Who Needs to Step up for the Carolina Panthers in Week 7?

By Patrick Newton
Cam Newton
Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

The Carolina Panthers are coming off another fantastic win in Week 6. This week, they are looking to repeat performances against the 3-3 St. Louis Rams. The Panthers had a rough start to the season and are currently 2-3.

This week is very important for both teams. The Rams are currently in third place in their division. They are in a very tough situation where one game can easily make the difference between first, second, third and fourth. If the Rams, win it will secure them in third place but move them one game closer to the second spot.

The Panthers are currently in second place, beating out a disappointing Atlanta Falcons and Tampa Bay Buccaneers team. If the Panthers can secure another win, it will bring them closer to a winning season and draw them further away from the third and fourth place.

In order for the Panthers to breeze through Week 7 and earn a win, several players will have to step up. The first player is quarterback Cam Newton. He needs to work on his consistency. One week, Newton can be accurate and confident. The next week, he can be shaky and turning the ball over. If Newton can have a great game and keep the turnovers to a minimum, the Panthers will have a good chance of winning.

Newton needs to anticipate his receivers, deliver accurate throws and scramble when necessary to turn negative plays into positive yards.

In order for Newton to have a great game and remain confident, the offensive line needs to have a big game too. The Rams have a solid defense with veteran players. In total, the Rams have recorded 16 sacks and five interceptions, returning two of them for touchdowns. Newton has been sacked a total of 16 times. In two of the three losses, Newton was sacked six times or more. In their two wins, Newton was only sacked once.

If the offensive line can keep a strong pocket for Newton, expect him to have a great game. Also, the running back will need to recognize the point of attack from the blitz and pick it up so Newton can stay on his feet.

Lastly, the Panthers’ defensive secondary will have to step up and try to force turnovers. The Rams have a very young and inexperienced offense. The only player who has made a name for himself and stepped up as a leader is their quarterback Sam Bradford. So far, Bradford has been on point with his passing, throwing for a total of 13 touchdowns and only three interceptions. Bradford has been doing well securing the ball and getting points on the board.

If the secondary can keep pressure on the wide receivers to make tough catches or even get an interception, expect the Panthers to win. Another factor that really worked for the Panthers on defense in Week 6 was their blitz package. They changed up their point of attack and sent corner backs and safeties on blitzes off the edge, and were able to pressure the opponent.

If they can continue to pressure the opposing quarterback and stay close to the receivers, the Panthers will be able to secure a win and advance to 3-3.

Patrick Newton is a Carolina Panthers writer for Rant Sports.com. Follow him on Twitter @SirNewton17, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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