Week 14 Preview: Denver Broncos vs. Carolina Panthersby Jacob Dunne December 11, 2020 3 comments
Week 14 brings football to Bank of America Stadium to see the Denver Broncos take on the Carolina Panthers. The Broncos (4-8) are coming off of a tough 22-16 loss against the Kansas City Chiefs while the Panthers (4-8) are coming fresh off of a bye week after losing to the Minnesota Vikings 28-27 back in Week 12.
Drew Lock made his return last week after missing Week 12 over Covid concerns and threw 151 yards and two touchdowns versus two interceptions. Melvin Gordon led all running backs with a season-high 131 rushing yards after only rushing for 31 yards in Week 12. Tim Patrick led all receivers with two touchdowns while Noah Fant added 57 yards on four catches. On the other side of the ball, Shelby Harris returned for the first time since being diagnosed with Covid-19 and had two tackles along with two pass deflections. Jeremiah Attaochu recorded the team’s only sack of the game while Kareem Jackson and Justin Simmons combined for 18 tackles.
The Broncos recovered from Week 12’s debacle to give the Chiefs a run for their money. If the Broncos want to pull off the upset in Carolina, they will need to carry over that dominant defensive momentum into Week 14. With Gordon averaging 8.3 yards per attempt last game versus just 1.9 for Phillip Lindsay, the Broncos would be wise to ride Gordon’s hot hand and let him dominate the carries in the backfield. If Gordon and the run game can get going early, Lock should have no problem finding Patrick, Fant, and Jerry Jeudy in the passing game.
Teddy Bridgewater passed for 267 yards and a touchdown versus one interception in Week 12. He needs 181 passing yards for his second-career 3,000-yard season (3,321 passing yards in 2015). Mike Davis had 79 scrimmage yards (55 rushing, 24 receiving) in Week 12. He’s looking at another start with Pro Bowl running back Christian McCaffrey (shoulder, quad) not expected to play. The Panthers could also be shorthanded in the passing game with D.J. Moore likely out after being placed on the Covid-19 list.
On the other side of the ball, rookie safety Jeremy Chinn had 13 tackles, a forced fumble, and two fumble recoveries for a touchdown in Week 12. He became the third player in NFL history with two fumble recoveries for a touchdown in a single game. Chinn also leads all rookies with 86 tackles.
The Panthers’ offense will be without McCaffrey and Moore this week. If the Panthers want to hold off the Broncos at home, they will need Robby Anderson to step up in the passing game. Anderson has been a welcomed addition to this Panthers offense, totaling 912 receiving yards in 12 games. With A.J. Bouye suspended for the rest of the season, Anderson should have no problem getting open against the Broncos beat-up secondary.
Date: December 13, 2020
Start time: 1:00 p.m. EST
Location: Charlotte, NC
Stadium: Bank of America Stadium
TV Info: CBS
Betting Odds Sponsored by Jazz Sportsbook
Points Spread: DEN +3 (-110) | CAR -3 (-110)
Moneyline: DEN +140 | CAR -160
Over/Under: O 45.5 (-110) | U 45.5 (-110)
The line opened at Panthers -4 to start the week but has dropped to -3. The over/under opened at 47 but has gone down to 45.5. Both numbers dropped after the Panthers ruled McCaffrey out. With the Broncos defense showing out last week and holding the Chiefs to a season-low 22 points, the Panthers are going to have a tough time moving the ball. Losing Bouye helps the Panthers’ offensive outlook, but it won’t be enough to overcome the loss of McCaffrey along with the potential losses of Moore and Samuel. Expect the Broncos to build on their impressive Week 13 running performance and upset the Panthers in Carolina.
Lock finds Fant on a 13-yard post route for the game’s first touchdown. The Panthers answer with a 47-yard field goal from Joey Slye. The Broncos answer with a 38-yard field goal from Brandon McManus and take a 10-3 lead into halftime. Coming out of the break, Davis breaks loose for a 30-yard run followed by a 17-yard touchdown pass to Anderson to tie the game at 10 apiece. Gordon and Lindsay combine for 55 total yards on the next drive, which results in a 3-yard rushing touchdown by Lindsay. After exchanging field goals, Bridgewater connects with Anderson on a 60-yard bomb to tie the game at 20 with 1:23 remaining in the fourth quarter. Lock marches down the field with ease to put the Broncos in field goal range. McManus hits a game-winning 34-yard field goal as time expires.
Final Score: Broncos 23, Panthers 20