The 5-8 Carolina Panthers travel to Washington to take on the 7-5-1 Redskins in this week’s Monday night matchup. Both teams were victorious last week with each stopping a 2 game losing streak. Washington defeated the Philadelphia Eagles on the road 27-22. The win keeps their playoff hopes alive, as they are currently third in the NFC East. Carolina’s defense shined in their 28-16 victory over the San Diego Chargers despite missing Pro Bowl line backer Luke Keuchly who suffered a concussion the week before. His status for this game is still up in the air.
Kirk Cousins had a nice game last week completing 14 of his 21 passes for 234 yards, 2 touchdowns and 1 interception. He was also sacked twice for a loss of 7 yards. His favorite target was Pierre Garcon who had 5 catches for 59 yards and a touchdown. Desean Jackson had a nice game also catching 3 passes for 102 yards and a touchdown. They had success running the ball gaining 107 yards on 23 carries, which is an average of 4.7 yards per carry. Robert Kelley led the team 63 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries. The offense has been playing very well as over the last 5 games they have averaged 29 points. Defensively, they allowed Philadelphia to gain more than 400 yards but forced 2 turnovers and sacked Carson Wentz 4 times for a loss of 26 yards. They did a good job against the rush giving up 95 yards on 26 carries. Over their last 5 games the Redskins have allowed their opponents to score an average of 25 points per game.
Carolina’s defense forced 5 turnovers last week and allowed San Diego to gain just 294 yards. They also sacked Philip Rivers 5 times for a loss of 16 yards and had a safety. They shut the run game down as the Chargers gained just 58 yards on 20 carries, which is an average of 2.8 yards per rush. The 2 previous games the defense really struggled as they gave up 75 points in their losses to the Seahawks and the Raiders. Offensively, Cam Newton struggled as he finished with a quarterback rating of 27.7. He completed just 10 of 27 passes for 160 yards, 1 touchdown and 1 interception. His favorite target was Greg Olsen who had 4 receptions for 87 yards. They had success running the ball as they gained 126 yards on 38 carries. Jonathan Stewart led the team with 66 yards and a touchdown on 24 carries.
Washington has gone 9-4 against the spread this season including 5-1 as the favorite. Carolina has gone 4-8-1 against the spread this season including 2-3-1 on the road. The Redskins will have home field advantage and are favored by a touchdown. While Washington is still very much alive in the playoff race the Panthers will be looking to play spoilers and will be playing for pride.
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