The Arizona Cardinals travel to Charlotte to take on the Carolina Panthers in a rematch of last season’s NFC Championship game — a game in which the Panthers dismantled the Cardinals, 49-15.
This Week 8 matchup was highly anticipated when the schedule was released, but that has changed. With the Cardinals not performing up to expectations and the Panthers being at the bottom of the NFC South with a 1-5 record, the game has lost a lot of its luster. The potential NFC heavyweight bout was originally the Fox Game of the Week, but it has been brought down to the 10 a.m. slot because of the teams’ recent struggles.
The Panthers are coming off their bye, and it was a much-needed week off, as they try to regroup after dropping four straight games. Their last contest was against the New Orleans Saints in Week 6, where they lost 41-38 on a Wil Lutz 52-yard field goal with 11 seconds left. The Panthers’ 26th-ranked secondary continued to be an issue, as they surrendered 465 yards and four touchdowns to Drew Brees.
All week, we’ll keep you informed on the Panthers’ moves and preparations as they get ready to take on the Cardinals.
It’s Behind Enemy Lines…
Tuesday, October 25
The Carolina Panthers are 1-5, and there’s a stronger case for Newton being the biggest disappointment of 2016 than the first player since Peyton Manning in 2008 and ’09 to repeat as league MVP.
Short said the energy he saw in Monday’s practice was encouraging. He’s convinced the front seven will start pressuring the quarterback the way it has to in order to turn around a defense that is surrendering an average of 29.3 points, 10 more per game than a year ago.
• Panthers prepared to make post-bye push (panthers.com)
Getting physically healthy is just one part of the equation. Across the board, the Panthers worked on their mental health during the bye week, grinding to get to back the kind of success the team enjoyed last season on its momentous march to the Super Bowl.
• Playoffs? Panthers coach Ron Rivera optimistic after staycation, self-scouting during bye (The Charlotte Observer)
Asked Monday if he believes the Panthers can make the playoffs, Rivera said: “Oh yeah, absolutely. Why not? We’ve still got 10 games left. We take care of business, do our job, play hard and you just never know.”
• Carolina Panthers get a mix of good news, bad news in trenches (The Charlotte Observer)
(Vernon) Butler missed three games with a high ankle sprain suffered against Minnesota. He returned to practice on Monday, the team’s first after a bye week. He said the rehab process went well, and he’s “no doubt” ready for Sunday’s matchup against the Arizona Cardinals (3-3-1).
• Jon Beason to Cam Newton – “Answer the questions like a man” (carolinahuddle.com)
“What I would say to Cam now is, there’s no more of the childish being a rookie or maybe a second-year guy and walking out of press conferences,” Beason said. “You can sit there, answer the questions like a man because you are the franchise.”
• Explaining the Panthers’ 1-5 Start With Stats (blackandbluereview.com)
Numbers aren’t everything, but they can help explain part of a story. So if you’re having a hard time understanding how the bulk of a team that went 15-1 last year is now 1-5, some of these stats should shed some light.
Source: Arizona Sports