Carolina Panthers vs. Los Angeles Rams Preview
Where: Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum – Los Angeles, California
When: Sunday, November 6, 4:05 PM ET
TV Broadcast: FOX
Writer’s Pick: Carolina Panthers (-3)
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Betting on the Carolina Panthers (-3)
The Panthers finally snapped their disastrous four-game losing skid with a big 30-20 home win over the Arizona Cardinals. This was despite reigning NFL MVP Cam Newton not having a very good game. He went just 14-of-27 for 212 yards and was held to zero touchdowns (passing or rushing) in a regular season game for the first time since 2014.
Luckily, Newton was bailed out by a Panthers defense which finally rediscovered its old form against the Cards. The unit sacked Carson Palmer eight times, five coming with four or fewer rushers. They also forced two turnovers, one of which was a fumble returned for a touchdown.
The good news for the Panthers pass rush is that they’ll get to face a Rams O-line which has been simply wretched this season. The Panthers have already been very good against the run (they were No. 6 per DVOA heading into Week 8), and should be able to put Case Keenum in a considerable amount of pressure when the Rams are inevitably forced to throw.
Meanwhile, the Panthers can still run the ball better than the Rams can do anything on offense. Since returning from a month-long layoff, Jonathan Stewart has rushed for four touchdowns in two games.
Betting on the Los Angeles Rams (+3)
After a shock three-game win streak which included victories over the Seahawks and the Cardinals, the Rams have now lost three in a row and are back below .500 at 3-4. They lost 17-10 to the New York Giants in England prior to their bye, as Case Keenum threw a career-high four interceptions.
That horrific performance drew calls for No. 1 overall pick Jared Goff to finally take over as the team’s quarterback, but head coach Jeff Fisher is sticking with Keenum as his starter against the Panthers.
It’ll be an uphill battle for Keenum and Todd Gurley to get going against a resurgent Panthers defense, but the Rams D has the potential to slow down a Carolina offense which has yet to fire on all cylinders this season.
Linemen Robert Quinn and William Hayes finally returned to the lineup against the Giants. Quinn and Aaron Donald can dominate opposing lines by themselves, and they have another chance to do so against a Panthers O-line which has been pretty shaky in pass protection this year. No. 1 cornerback Trumaine Johnson should also be ready to return after missing the last two games with an ankle injury.
The Panthers (-3) get their first win streak of the season with a 21-13 win over the Rams.
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