NFL Preseason 2014: 5 Bold Predictions For Kansas City Chiefs vs. Carolina Panthers

NFL Preseason 2014: 5 Bold Predictions For Chiefs vs. Panthers

Mike Tolbert, Carolina Panthers running back; Tamba Hali, Kansas City Chiefs outside linebacker
Denny Medley - USA TODAY Sports

As the Carolina Panthers host the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday night, many players will try to prove themselves worthy of a starting position, more playing time, or even just a spot on their respective team's 53-man roster. The Chiefs are coming off of a victory in which they scored 41 points against the Bengals, while the Panthers are coming off of an 18-20 loss to the Buffalo Bills. Here are my five bold predictions for the game.

5. Deangelo Williams Proves Himself Worthy To Be the Panthers' Feature Back

Deangelo Williams, Carolina Panthers running back
Getty Images

5. Deangelo Williams Proves Himself Worthy To Be the Panthers' Feature Back

Deangelo Williams, Carolina Panthers running back
Getty Images

The Carolina Panthers have gone too long playing as a running back by-committee team. Williams has proven to be more capable than Jonathan Stewart in his time as a Panther, and in this preseason game, Williams will put on a show to demonstrate how hard he has been working to earn more carries.

Best-case scenario: Williams gains 100 all-purpose yards, scoring a touchdown on the ground and taking a screen pass 35 yards for a touchdown.

4. Carlos Santos Outperforms Ryan Succop, Becomes Chiefs' Starting Kicker

Ryan Succop, Kansas City Chiefs kicker
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4. Carlos Santos Outperforms Ryan Succop, Becomes Chiefs' Starting Kicker

Ryan Succop, Kansas City Chiefs kicker
Getty Images

Santos has impressed in his time with the Chiefs, kicking numerous 50-plus yard field goals during indoor practices. Although Succop has been fairly reliable, his missed field goal in the Chiefs' Week 17 loss to the Chargers was a sign that he is not a reliable kicker when it matters most. Santos also has more upside as he has a stronger leg than Succop.

Best-case scenario: Santos nails two field goals from 50-plus yards, Succop misses PAT.

3. Panthers' Secondary Harasses Chiefs' Quarterbacks

Charles Godfrey, Panthers defensive back
Bob Donnan - USA TODAY Sports

3. Panthers' Secondary Harasses Chiefs' Quarterbacks

Charles Godfrey, Panthers defensive back
Bob Donnan - USA TODAY Sports

For the second straight year, the Panthers' secondary looks weak. After Mike Mitchell and Captain Munnerlyn left in free agency, the Panthers were forced to hire journeyman defensive backs to support the Panthers' elite front seven. Charles Godfrey returns from injury this year, joined by former Pro Bowl safeties Thomas DeCoud and Roman Harper.

Best-case scenario: Godfrey and DeCoud each record interceptions, while Harper forces a fumble.

2. Travis Kelce Burns the Panthers' Secondary For Second Preseason TD

Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs tight end
Derick E. Hingle - USA TODAY Sports

2. Travis Kelce Burns the Panthers' Secondary For Second Preseason TD

Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs tight end
Derick E. Hingle - USA TODAY Sports

After burning the Bengals' secondary in the Chiefs' 41-39 victory last week, Travis Kelce gained some attention around the league. Tight ends aren't usually the ones to burn an entire secondary multiple times in one game. Sure it was the preseason, but Kelce proved himself worthy of more snaps. His only problem is the abundance of tight ends on the Kansas City roster.

Best-case scenario: Kelce catches three passes for 45 yards, scores a TD.

1. Cam Newton Shines in His 2014 Preseason Debut

Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers quarterback
Jeremy Brevard - USA TODAY Sports

1. Cam Newton Shines in His 2014 Preseason Debut

Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers quarterback
Jeremy Brevard - USA TODAY Sports

Newton will likely play a majority of or the entire first quarter, and he will look to gain in-game experience with his new receivers Kelvin Benjamin, Jason Avant, and Jerricho Cotchery. With a rebuilding offensive line and a subpar receiving corps, Newton will likely have to make a few plays with his feet against the Chiefs' ferocious pass rush.

Best-case scenario: Newton throws a touchdown pass to Kelvin Benjamin, scores a TD with his feet.

Connor Howe is a Cincinnati Bengals writer for RantSports. Follow him on Twitter @CHoweSports, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google


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