This Sunday the LA Rams travel across the continent to take on the Carolina Panthers in what is sure to be a tone setting game for both teams. The Rams are coming off a Superbowl loss and looking to reignite their flame. The Panthers, a team hoping to return to playoff form and contend for a Superbowl once again.
For my money, the success of the Carolina Panthers offense against the LA Rams defense boils down to one very simple question: Can Cam Newton get rid of the ball quickly? So much has been made of Cam Newton once again being able to throw the deep ball, which is indeed important. But against Aaron Donald and the Rams I am more interested in Newton throwing quickly and remaining upright.
Luckily, the Panthers now have the talent on offense to allow this to happen. Christian McCaffrey, Curtis Samuel, and DJ Moore make up one of the most talented offensive young trios in the entire league. McCaffrey and Samuel in particular have the ability to quickly gain separation from their defenders. This will be much needed on Sunday against the LA Rams solid defensive front.
We have arrived at the portion of the prediction that I am most excited about. The Carolina Panthers defense has been revamped and has little in common with its previous version.
The Panthers now have the ability to consistently pressure opposing quarterbacks. This is particularly bad news for the Rams as Goff has a tendency to crumble in such situations. I suspect at least a four sack game is on the Carolina horizon.
Bonus Prediction: The Patriots were able to stifle the Rams offense in the Superbowl by not showing their actual defense until after the quarterback’s earphones were turned off. At that point, the Patriots would realign, giving Goff a new look without McVay’s tutelage. The result was Goff looking worse than he had all season. I suspect the Carolina Panthers will employ the same strategy on Sunday.
Unfortunately for the LA Rams, the Superbowl hangover is very real. Look no further than the Carolina Panthers themselves to validate its existence. The 2016 season was one of the more frustrating of the entire franchise. I am now a believer in the curse.
Many are predicting a close game here, but I don’t see it that way. I see a statement coming from the Carolina Panthers lead by a new defense with no actual film to be studied. The LA Rams are in for a long day in Carolina.
Carolina Panthers – 32
LA Rams – 13Agree? Disagree? You can sound off right here with thousands of Carolina Panthers fans.