Carolina Panthers vs. Arizona Cardinals Preview

Carolina Panthers vs. Arizona Cardinals Preview

by September 20, 2019 1 comment

 

On Sunday, the Carolina Panthers will travel to State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona to face the Arizona Cardinals for the first time since 2016, and for the first time in the desert since 2013.

The Panthers lead the all-time series between the two teams, and the Cardinals have won the last two of three games played. In 2009 Arizona defeated Carolina during NFC Wild Card weekend to earn its first playoff win in 10 years. Both teams are looking for their first season win, the Panthers coming into the game 0-2 after losing to Tampa Bay and the Los Angeles Rams, and Arizona reeling from their 23-17 loss against the Baltimore Ravens last week following their Week 1 tie against the Detroit Lions.

Carolina is the underdog coming into the match, and with Cam Newton questionable for the game as of Tuesday afternoon, the Cardinals odds of winning are increasing. If Newton doesn’t play, the matchup between Panthers quarterback Kyle Allen and Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray will be reminiscent of their collegiate career in the quarterback room together at Texas A&M.

Murray passed for 349 yards in Week 2 and joined Cam in NFL history as the only quarterbacks with 300-plus yards in both of their first two career games. Murray threw for 308 yards in his only career home start and has completed 54 of 94 passes with two touchdowns thus far.

Running back David Johnson has recorded 421 yards and four touchdowns in the past five games against the NFC South and is one of two running backs with 2000-plus rush yards and 1400-plus receiving yards since 2016.

Wide receiver Christian Kirk had a career-high 114 receiving yards and his first career 100-yard game last week. Veteran wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald had 104 receiving yards versus Baltimore and recorded his 48th career 100-plus yard game. Fitzgerald needs 10 catches to surpass Hall of Famer Tony Gonzalez for second-most receptions in NFL history.

The Arizona defensive line will feature Chandler Jones who had three sacks and six forced fumbles in the last four games at home, Jordan Hicks who led the team last week with eleven tackles, and rookie Byron Murphy who led the team with two pass deflections, including his first career pass deflection.

The Carolina Panthers come to Arizona looking for redemption following back to back losses in the first two weeks of the 2019 NFL season. Quarterback Cam Newton passed for 324 yards last week, which his 20th career game with 300-plus yards and has recorded 58 rush touchdowns since 2011.

Newton, who underwent shoulder surgery in the offseason, injured his foot in the preseason game against the New England Patriots, yet started both games of the regular season, is questionable for the game against Arizona because of the foot injury. Head coach Ron Rivera would not reveal the extent of Newton’s injury, but Kyle Allen has been practicing for the starter role and says he is ready.

Running back Christian McCaffrey has recorded 835 scrimmage yards and six touchdowns in eight road games in the 2018 season and has five-plus receptions in 13 of his 16 career road games. McCaffrey has 199 career catches, and with his next reception, he will join Reggie Bush as the only running backs with 200-plus catches in their first 35 career games. It is safe to say McCaffrey will join Bush.

Wide receiver D.J. Moore had a career-high nine receptions for 89 receiving yards in Week 2, and Greg Olsen led the team with 110 receiving yards against Tampa Bay. Olsen needs seven receiving yards to become the fifth tight end to reach the 8000 yards receiving milestone.

Luke Kuechly led Panthers defense with 17 tackles against Tampa Bay, and it was his seventh career game with 15-plus tackles, and his first career safety. Rookie linebacker/defensive end Brian Burns also had a career first with a sack in Week 2. With the uncertainty of who will be in the signal-caller spot come Sunday afternoon, the odds stay in favor of Arizona, but the Panthers will look to make a game of it Sunday afternoon in the Arizona heat.

 

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