Previewing the Panthers Showdown with Chicago


Two teams that scored upsets in week one will do battle in Carolina in week two, as the Chicago Bears take on the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium. The Bears put a beating on the Colts at the new Lucas Oil Stadium Sunday night, while the Panthers pulled the upset of the weekend with a last play win over the Chargers.

The Bears looked like the Bears of old Sunday, as the defense harassed Peyton Manning, caused some big turnovers, and even had a safety in their win. Carolina gained a lot of confidence without Steve Smith winning over the Chargers on the road. With Jake Delhomme back and looking better than ever, the Panthers look like a team that may challenge in the NFC South.

The Panthers have a two-headed monster in their backfield, as DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart combined to out-gain San Diego running back LaDainian Tomlinson 139-97 on the ground in the win. Look for them to attack the Bears and test them. If they can get off early, it will make life easier for Delhomme to go play-action and try to hit some big plays against the Bears secondary.

Chicago will give Matt Forte plenty of chances to do a repeat of his solid opening night against the Panthers tough D-line and linebackers. If the Panthers can hold him in check, they will have the edge as it will be then up to Kyle Orton to try and win the game. Orton was good enough on Sunday night, but against Juilius Peppers and the Panthers, it may not be as easy.

Look for a great back and forth game between two teams that are bent on proving they belong in the NFC. Advantage Bears on special teams, but I like the Panthers on offense and think they can make life tough for Orton and Forte, taking home a win and moving to 2-0.

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