Carolina Panthers vs. New England Patriots Preview
Where: Gillette Stadium – Foxboro, MA
When: Sunday, October 1, 2017, 1:00 PM ET
TV Broadcast: FOX
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- Carolina Panthers vs. New England Patriots Preview - October 1, 2017
- 2017 NFL Week 4 Picks and Predictions
Betting on the Carolina Panthers (2-1)
It’s official: the Panthers have a Cam Newton problem. The former MVP had struggled in his first two games, but the Panthers defense was good enough to lead the team to back-to-back wins.
However, Newton’s poor play actively hurt the team in their 34-13 home loss to their division rival New Orleans Saints. Newton went just 17-of-26 for 167 yards and threw three picks, two of which quickly resulted in Saints touchdowns. Newton’s 4.4 Total QBR set a new career-low single-game Total QBR.
Newton was already without favorite target Greg Olsen, who will miss a couple of months with a broken foot. And now, top wideout Kelvin Benjamin has also picked up a knee injury and his status for the Patriots game is in question.
Christian McCaffrey had his best game as a pro as he had nine catches for 101 yards, but it’s concerning that the Panthers offense couldn’t get much else done against what is a very bad Saints defense.
With fewer turnovers, the Panthers defense should do a better job of limiting points, even against the Patriots. But without better play from Cam and the offense, the Panthers’ chances of leaving Foxboro with a win don’t look encouraging.
Betting on the New England Patriots (2-1)
The Patriots have Tom Brady to thank for avoiding a 1-2 hole through three games. The Patriots quarterback had a vintage performance against a very tough Texans defense. He went 25-of-35 for 378 yards and threw five touchdown passes to lead the Pats to a 36-33 win.
Brandin Cooks had a breakout game for the Pats with five catches, 131 yards, and two touchdowns. Rob Gronkowski (eight catches, 89 yards, one TD) and Chris Hogan (four catches, 68 yards, two TDs) also had notable performances for the Pats.
It’s certainly a promising sign for the Pats that Gronk has started the season well. He put up another strong performance despite dealing with a groin injury which had him questionable to play against the Texans.
However, it’s less promising that the Pats pass defense was exposed for the second time in three games. Rookie Deshaun Watson was able to pick up way too many big plays for Bill Belichick’s liking. But the good news for the Pats is that they get to face a Panthers team that is struggling to get anything going through the air at the moment.
Knowing Belichick, the Pats will likely concentrate on the run and dare the Panthers to beat them through the air. And with the way Newton’s been playing early on, it doesn’t appear like the Panthers are capable of capitalizing on the Pats’ leaky secondary.
The Pats (-450) pick on the struggling Panthers as they score a 24-14 home win.
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