Pick Patriots to Pound Panthers in Preseason NFL Friday

Jordan Sharp

Tuesday, August 19, 2014 4:03 PM GMT

Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2014 4:03 PM GMT

Friday night’s preseason card has plenty of action this week, and one of the earlier contests Friday is the Panthers and Patriots. The NFL Odds heavily favor the Patriots at -5 ½, so will the Panthers come to play, or will New England dominate?

Cam Newton Struggles in Return
In his first preseason action of the season, Cam Newton didn’t exactly look like his old self. He was only 4/9 passing for 65 yards, and during his time in the game he looked uncomfortable. Newton is coming off of offseason surgery, so a rusty start is to be expected. However this could be a large problem for the Panthers offensively if they can’t get things straightened out quickly.

Newton was also sacked twice against the Chiefs last week, and although they won the game, Newton wasn’t a big part of the win. His time in the game was short coming off the injury, and even in Week 3 of the preseason, it’s hard to believe that he will be in there a lot.

Newton is the only thing keeping the Panthers from being a horrible football team, and they aren’t going to take any chances with him this preseason. Even if he does get more snaps than the 15 or so snaps he got last week, I doubt it will have much of an affect. It took Newton into the second quarter before he could get a first down, and even though it was against the Chiefs’ defense, the Patriots’ defense is going to still be very imposing.

 

The Sharp Pick
Tom Brady and the Patriots looked great in Week 2 of the preseason, and they are still one of the least talked about teams with a chance to win the Super Bowl this season. Brady went 8/10 with 81 yards, a touchdown and an interception. Even with the turnover, the Patriots offense looks nice, and against the Panthers, they’ll be able to cover this spread.

After Brady, the Pats have a fierce quarterback battle going on between Ryan Mallett and rookie, Jimmy Garoppolo. Both QBs have been playing very well this summer, and once Brady’s time is done in this game, the Pats’ offensive upside doesn’t leave the game with him. Both Mallet and Garoppolo are more than capable of scoring points against the Panthers’ second and third strings, and they are both far better than Joe Webb and Derek Anderson.

If Newton and the Panthers’ offense come out looking shaky again, this game will belong to the Patriots in the end. Brady and the Patriots should come out and get on the board quickly, and if that’s the case, I fear that the Panthers won’t be able to play catch up.

Carolina’s offense is going to be dependent on running the football this season, and if they get behind early in this game or any game, the likelihood of them coming from behind to win or cover is small. Look for the Panthers’ offense to struggle and for the Pats to get the cover.
NFL Pick: Patriots -5 ½ at Pinnacle

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