Washington Redskins (2-2 1-3 ATS) vs. Carolina Panthers (0-3 0-3 ATS) Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, NC 1 PM EST Sunday October 11, 2009 on FOX
By Jason Green at Predictem.com
Point Spread: Redskins +4/Panthers -4
In game between a couple of struggling teams this Sunday afternoon the Carolina Panthers host the Washington Redskins. The Panthers had last week off, which is a good thing, as they are having some big problems so far this season. In their last game a couple of weeks ago they lost to the Dallas Cowboys 21-7 in a Monday night game. A couple of weeks back the Redskins allowed the Lions to snap their 18 game losing streak and in their last game they almost allowed the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to win their first game of the season, but they came back after a horrible first half and ended up winning 16-13. If the Redskins would have lost that game the fans may have stormed FedEX field, as they were getting booed, big time, in the first half.
In the Panthers’ last game a couple of weeks ago they lost to the Cowboys and by looking at the stats it is not hard to see why. The Panthers were out-gained on offense 449 to 271 and simply could not run the ball or stop the run, as they only had 73 rushing yards and the Cowboys had a field day with 212 rushing yards. It also did not help that they had 3 turnovers. Jake Delhomme is still the starter, but in the Cowboys game he had 2 interceptions, but did pass for 220 yards. In the Dallas game the Panthers were underdogs by 8.5 points, so they did not cover the spread and the posted total of 48.5 was nowhere near being reached with only 28 points scored.
The Redskins were lucky to win on Sunday when they hosted the winless Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Both teams were pretty even in terms of passing yards and rushing yards, but the Redskins had a solid 3rd quarter, which propelled them to a win. What almost doomed the Redskins were turnovers, as they had 4 in the game including 3 INT’s by QB Jason Campbell. For the first half and 4th quarter Campbell looked horrible, but in the 3rd quarter, when the Skins scored all 16 points, he looked like an All-Pro. In the 3rd quarter Campbell was 7/9 for 100 yards with 2 TD and 0 IN and for the rest of the game he was 5/13 for 60 yards with 0 TD and 3 INT’s. The Skins were favored by 9 points and they did not cover the spread and the 29 points scored was 7 shy of the posted total of 36.
Both teams are having major problems, but at least the Redskins are .500 at 2-2 and still have a shot to make the playoffs this season. The Panthers are 0-3 and if they lose this game the playoffs will be a major long shot.
Jason Campbell (963 yds 5 TD 5 INT) has been decent this season, but he has to avoid the INT’s, which he could not do last week. The Redskins are actually better when they are running the ball and when Campbell does not put up big passing numbers, but they have got down early in their games and he has to lead them back through the air.
Even though the Panthers are undefeated they have a solid secondary, which ranks 4th in the NFL in terms of passing defense. This means that the Redskins cannot get down early and rely on the passing game.
The Panthers rank 26th in rushing defense, as they are giving up an average of an un-impressive 182.7 yards per game on the ground, which is the worst in the league.
Clinton Portis (281 yds rushing) may still be hurting in this game with a bruised calf, but he will play and will be counted on to carry the Redskins. If he has a good game and controls the clock by moving the chains the Skins will be in good shape.
How the Panthers do may rely on how Jake Delhomme (601 yds 2 TD 7 INT) plays. He has to hold onto the ball and not turn the ball over. The Redskins passing defense has been solid ranking 7th only allowing 174 passing yards per game.
RB DeAngelo Williams has to take some pressure off Delhomme, but he only has 180 rushing yards in 3 games this season. Luckily the Redskins’ D has not been able to stop the run this season, as they are giving up an average of 128 rushing yards per game, which ranks 23rd in the league.
Both teams have been killed this season by turnovers and the team that can hold onto the ball will give their team a great chance to win this game.
Jason’s Pick: Both teams are struggling and both have been sloppy. Delhomme has been inconsistent, Campbell is coming off a 3-INT game, and neither team can stop the run. Again, this game may come down to which team can avoid the turnover. I am going to stay with the Redskins, as last week I picked them to cover the spread, but I was wrong even though they won the game. I see Portis having a big game, which will be the difference, as they will win this game and improve to 3-2 while the Panthers will fall to 0-4.