By Michael Brennan
The Panthers are on the brink of a make or break performance. The entire offseason for the Denver Broncos circulated around the acquisition of legendary quarterback and future Hall of Famer, Peyton Manning. At this point in the season the Broncos (5-3) find themselves atop the AFC West, while the Carolina Panthers (2-6) continue to sit at the bottom of the NFC South.
Carolina is coming off of a huge win at FedEx Field against the Redskins, taking a step in the right direction for the rest of their season. On the other side of the ball, the Denver Broncos have the fourth best passing offense in the NFL, averaging nearly 300 passing yards per game. The only losses that Denver carries this season are thanks to three teams that have lost only four games combined. In fact, the Broncos have only lost to the current leaders of the AFC South, AFC East, and NFC South.
The Panthers have struggled mightily against team with winning records, amazingly, Carolina does not have a win against a team that is above .500 this season. The scrutiny that has surrounded Cam Newton this season will continue to deafen with every big win and every smooth performance. Newton did not turn the ball over once last week and played relatively “mistake-free” football.
When the Panthers welcome Manning and the Denver Broncos this week expect a lot of shots at the Carolina secondary. The Panthers front four has been able to keep consistent pressure on quarterbacks without bringing an extra man and should keep that going against the Broncos.
Carolina fans can expect to see a David Gettis back on the field and could even see him returning kicks or punts. Gettis has not played in over a year and was recently activated off of the Physically Unable to Perform list (PUP).
Newton finally showed his stuff last week vs the Skins, but now goes up against a much better D against a Broncos team that is playing as well as any in the AFC. Look for another strong day from Manning, and for Newton and Co. to go back to their struggling ways in a loss. Denver 27 Carolina 13