Panthers' defense readying for test against Patriots' offense

Panthers' defense readying for test against Patriots' offense

Panthers' defense readying for test against Patriots' offense

The Carolina Panthers and New England Patriots are slated to meet at 1 p.m.

The Panthers suffered their first loss of the season last Sunday and were unable to feast on a shoddy Saints defense. "Anytime you can go against an opponent like that, it's a pump-up game, and we're excited for the challenge".

For the best mobile experience, use the mobile web version. Brady finished with 378 yards and five touchdown passes on 25-for-35 passing while Cooks had five catches for 131 yards and two touchdowns. The New England Patriots have won five of their last seven home games.

Offensively, the Patriots will have plenty of options.

Brady dropped back on the game's final play and lofted a pass into the end zone in the direction of Rob Gronkowski as time expired. However, the explosive plays are lacking, both through the air but just as notably, on the ground.

The Panthers and Patriots have played at extremes so far this season.

Carolina has not played well, but they have benefited from playing mediocre teams. New England lost the opener against the Chiefs, then got wins over New Orleans 36-20 and Houston 36-33. Offensively, the Patriots hold the edge with their multiple weapons in the passing game, which should cause some problems for the Panthers. Stephen Gostkowski made a 41-yard field goal to give New England a 3-0 lead. After an interception and a quick score, the game gets out of hand as the Panthers defense wears out.

A favorable matchup does not guarantee a good fantasy week for the Panthers QB.

The Patriots defense has been a question mark in the team's early going, but could get a shot in the arm with the expected return of linebacker Dont'a Hightower from injury. If Newton can't take advantage of the Patriots, he could be in for a long year. The team proved its ability to make halftime adjustments last weekend against the Texans, which should be the case again during this game. Four years removed from the incident and an upcoming Sunday game against Carolina has brought this back up. That puts a lot of pressure on Newton to pick up his team and help them compete in a hostile environment, against a quarterback in Brady who continues to play as well as anyone in the National Football League, even at 40 years old. You can start with Cam, the leader of the offense, big dude, obviously an experienced quarterback, strong guy, hard to take down and hard to tackle, so obviously we've got to deal with him. Tom Brady on the road, Matt Stafford on the road and then back home in Charlotte against Carson Wentz. After losing his favorite target in Greg Olsen to the IR, it will be tougher for Cam to make some serious damage.

The Patriots (2-1) are riding the unbelievable arm of the seemingly ageless Tom Brady. According to Jordan Rodrigue of the Observer, Newton said if had more time to think it over before the game he probably would have demonstrated in some way. If they do, expect a closer than anticipated matchup with the Patriots.

Panthers coach Ron Rivera said that any apparent limitations are more by design than as an accommodation. He has followed that up with two big games in the Pats two offensive explosions.

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