Sunday, November 4, 2012
How you feeling? Redskins-Panthers
By Dan Graziano
As the Washington Redskins prepare to host the Carolina Panthers in a 1 p.m. ET game at FedEx Field, here's one reason for Redskins fans to feel good and one reason for concern.
Feeling good: Carolina has lost five games in a row and has been inconsistent on offense as well as defense. The Redskins should be able to get their run game back on track after last week's loss to the Steelers broke a streak of 13 straight games with at least 100 yards rushing. And Carolina's offense (averaging just 18.3 points per game) is not going to put as much pressure on the Redskins' banged-up defense as have many of the teams they've faced in recent weeks. The Redskins don't get blown out often, either, and if this is a close game it will favor them. The Panthers are a league-worst 1-10 since the start of the 2011 season in games decided by seven points or less.
Cause for concern: I guess you could go with the law-of-averages idea that Cam Newton, Steve Smith and the Panthers offense are going to get it going one of these weeks. And I guess if you look at it from Carolina's perspective, a game against the league's 29th-ranked defense in a building that doesn't, statistically, offer much of a home-field advantage is a good opportunity to do just that. Newton remains a threat with his arm and his legs, and there's a feeling around the league that he and his team are bound to play better over the season's second half. If this is the week things do start to click for this team, Washington could have a tougher time than the on-paper scouting reports might make it appear.