There is no reason to panic just yet. The Carolina Panthers may have been crushed by their divisional rival New Orleans Saints a week ago, but thankfully it’s not the postseason. Had that game been in Carolina, it very well may have ended up in a different score. This week, though, the Panthers defense is trying to put the 31 points they gave up a long way behind them.
What a perfect scenario for Carolina to be in — hosting the New York Jets with a hungry defense.
Behind rookie quarterback Geno Smith, the Jets’ offense has been unbelievably unpredictable and inconsistent. Actually, the one consistent is that the opposing defense is bound to find a turnover or two — or maybe, four. In his last four games, Smith has thrown a total of eight interceptions, including a three-pick performance against the Buffalo Bills.
For the Panthers, they know that Cam Newton can score points. Week 14 may have been just a rough week, or it could have been a measuring stick to where they need to be by playoff time. Newton had been on a roll prior to the Saints game a week ago, and I have no doubt in my mind he will bounce back against a rather lousy Jets pass defense.
Five times this season, the Jets have scored 10 or less points in a game. Five times this season, the Jets have scored above 20 points in a game. Seven times this season, Smith has thrown multiple interceptions in a game. Throw in the fact that New York has the 30th-ranked passing attack in all of football, and this one could get out of hand real fast.
Carolina will need to come out and dominate this football game early. It’s a game where they have to win by double digits. Getting this close to the postseason, they have to only get better from here on out and do what they are supposed to do. In this one, they are supposed to win by a land slide. They must do so, and it starts on the defense, but Newton has got to finish them off.