Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Bears-Panthers October 5, 2014 at Bank of America Stadium

When the Bears meet the Carolina Panthers this weekend, they will be up against a good team that has struggled recently due to injuries.  While the Packers beat the Bears, 38-17, last weekend, the Ravens whacked the Panthers, 38-10.  Quarterback Cam Newton has been playing with sore ribs and an ankle injury that has kept him from running with the ball—a big strength for the QB from Auburn who has run for over 700 yards in two of his seasons.  The offensive line has also struggled and injuries to their running backs have stacked up. 

However, the Panthers seem more concerned with the defense.  
Ron Rivera, the Panthers’ head coach, loves a tough defense. But the Panthers have been having a hard time against the run recently and that’s Rivera’s biggest concern going into the Bears game. Rivera is looking for improvements, but like a lot of coaches at this time of the year, he states that it’s not time to panic.  He suggests that it’s more a matter of players doing their part—that some of the problems stem from defenders taking unnecessary chances and moving outside their position. 

Quarterback Quality

In the NFL, fans and sports analysts alike have a tendency to compare the quarterbacks to the best in the NFL.  So of course, the glass is always half empty on quarterback performance. 

The Bears-Panters game will feature two very good quarterbacks. Jay Cutler leads the 2-2 Bears into the game with a 65.8% completion rate and a QB rating of 94.7.  Cam Newton brings his 2-2 Panthers into the game with a 63.8% completion rate and a QB rating of 98.2.  In terms of performance, both quarterbacks have good numbers.  The Bears franchise had plenty of quarterbacks throwing at 60% or less not too many seasons ago. 
And in terms of the Panthers running game…well Bears’ analyst Tom Thayer warns Bears fans not to assume too much weakness in the Panthers’ running back position.  It is something that can right itself in a hurry by an inspired back.

Rivera also suggests that Newton is getting better as well.  It’s another game that’s difficult to call. 

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