Sportsbook Review uses cookies to help us provide, protect & improve our services in accordance with our Privacy & Cookies policy, which includes details of how you can change your cookie settings.

Panthers vs. Washington: NFL Week 16 Picks and Game Predictions

profile image of Adam.Walford
Panthers vs. Washington Picks

The Ron Rivera revenge game? The Panthers released him before the summer and now they meet in a game with bug implications for the Football Team’s division crown hopes. This will be the first time he’s played his former team since joining Washington.

Carolina Panthers vs. Washington Football Team

Sunday, December 27, 2020 – 04:05 PM EST at FedEx Field

Who Are the Panthers?

It’s been a strange season for the Panthers. They have performed above where most of us predicted, and it’s been mostly without Christian McCaffrey who has played 3 games all season. He looked amazing in them with most of the carries when he played, and 2 scores in each of his games.

Mike Davis filled in well for him for most of the season however, the full workload that he’s had this season seems to have taken its toll on him, as he’s slowed in recent weeks and they’ve been giving carries to former Cowboys running back Rod Smith.

NFL Hub Banner

They’ve been surprisingly good in the passing game with Robby Anderson starting the season as the obvious one, to be overtaken by DJ Moore in recent weeks who had another 100 yard game last weekend against the Packers, his 2nd in 3 weeks. He’s second in the league in average yards per reception, a role that many expected Robby Anderson to take in this offense, both topping 1,000 yards is very impressive.

It’s on the defense where they’ve struggled, which wasn’t a shock with mostly new starters. It has improved in recent weeks though and Jeremy Chinn is well-priced for DROY after a brilliant season. They’re a very interesting team for next season, and have impressed me this year in their coaches first season in the league. With McCaffrey back and a few additions they could be up there next year.

Can Washington Win the NFC East?

The NFC East remains one of the tightest divisions in the league, mainly because of how disappointing each team has been. Washington are currently atop the division with 6 wins and know that a win here as well as the Giants losing to the Ravens will clinch the division for them. Either way with their Super bowl Odds at around +7500 it seems no-one thinks they’ll go far.

Will they be able to keep up their side of the bargain here then? I’m not sure. They might have Alex Smith back at QB after a calf injury but I can’t see him being fully healthy, and the shine seemed to have worn off in his last game against his former side where they failed to score an offensive TD. He’s only throw 4 TDs this season compared to 6 interceptions. If he doesn’t play then it has to be Dwayne Haskins, despite the team fining him for breaching COVID regulations by going to a strip club.

I can’t see Antonio Gibson playing for them at RB as he’s got turf toe. It’s a big boost if he does play, but without him there’s not a whole lot to get excited about on offense for them, so that leaves the defense to once again get the job done. They’ve got one of the best front 7s through their drafts and Chase Young has been playing well. The Panthers offensive line isn’t great, but Teddy is a mobile QB and should be able to scramble well.

DJ Moore #12 of the Carolina Panthers
DJ Moore #12 of the Carolina Panthers. Wesley Hitt/Getty Images/AFP

Who Wins?

Both teams covered the NFL Spread last weekend, the Panthers slowing the Packers in the second half and the Football Team getting a late cover against the Seahawks in Seattle. It means they’ve both covered 8 times this season, so there’s no help for me there, and the best sportsbooks have the Panthers as a very small underdog. I think the Panthers win, although that might just be my want to see the NFC East come down to week 17.

Best Bet: (visit our Sportsbook Review)