The Washington Redskins will be visiting the Carolina Panthers this Sunday and although the team from the nation’s capital has a Won-Loss record of 4-5 and is tied for second place in the East Division of the National Football Conference (NFC), one-half game behind the first place New York Giants, this game may be the most interesting – and perhaps even the most important – contest of Week Number 11.
That’s because the team the Redskins will line up against is the Carolina Panther, a squad that sports a Won-Loss record of 9-0 in the South Division of the National Football Conference and, in fact, has not lost a regular season game since the twelfth contest it played last year, in the 2014-2015 Season.
Carolina’s spotless record is one of the big surprises of this season in the National Football League (NFL). The Panthers and the current Super Bowl Champions, the New England Patriots, are the only two remaining undefeated squads in the entire league.
The fact that New England has yet to lose a game comes as no surprise. After all, this squad is coached by Bill Belichick and led on the field by future Hall of Fame quarterback Tom Brady. But the Carolina Panthers, while expected to be good this year, have surprised the “football world” by not losing this deep into the current season.
Cam Newton is the young quarterback upon whom the Panthers rely. And, while his personal statistics may seem somewhat pedestrian, he has produced on the field when it has helped his team the most. Additionally, Newton is a true leader, someone that inspires teammates and gets them to play at their very best.
The truth is that the Panthers seem to be improving with every game they play. Their defense led by Luke Kuechly is one of the best in the NFL. But, when a professional football team is still undefeated this late in the season, the pressure to maintain a perfect record grows. And that increased pressure can lead to mistakes on the gridiron and disappointment in the final score.
The Redskins, while not a powerhouse, are a good team, especially on defense. This squad can force turnovers and profit from them with easy scores. Washington’s quarterback, Kirk Cousins, has been good and not-so-good at different times this season. When he performs well, the Redskins can be dangerous. For example, Cousins and his teammates routed the New Orleans Saints last Sunday, scoring nearly fifty points against that team. And Kirk Cousins played a major role in his squad’s easy victory.
Of course, this Sunday’s game will be played in Carolina in front of a packed stadium of loud and energized fans. The Panthers, a young squad, will certainly draw energy from their excited fans and that “boost” can help them perform well on the field. The visiting Redskins will have to “shut out the fan noise” and play at their best if they hope to win this game.
The odds seem to favor the home team because this upcoming game appears to mean more to them than to the visitors.
Courtesy of Bleacher Report