The Carolina Panthers are off to their worst start in the NFL since opening the 1988 season 0-7. This week the 3-1 Chicago Bears and the return of Julius Peppers visits Charlotte. The Panthers are 1 of 4 winless teams, have the youngest roster in the league and offense is averaging 11.5 ppg. Last week against Super Bowl Champ New Orleans Saints, they were in the game with a chance to win a 16-14 loss. Practice for this young group of Panthers will be a season of regular season NFL games.
Rookie QB Jimmy Clausen is expected to make is third start against the Bears.He threw his first career TD against the Saints and hopefully there are many more in the years to come (393 yds, 1 TD, 2 INT). All Pro receiver Steve Smith suffered a sprained ankle in the third quarter and will be out this week. Making room for rookies David Gettis and Brandon LaFell. The team of Clausen , Gettis and LaFell have combined for 11 receptions, while Smith had 13 receptions and 2 TDS alone. Another rookie, Armanti Edwards will hope to play and perform to the NFL level. Carolina has scored just 5 TDs while committing 13 turnovers. Please hold onto the football. A surprise to me has been RB Mike Goodson with 533 total offensive yards, rushing, receiving and kick returns.
The Chicago Bears will be without starting QB Jay Cutler after suffering a concussion last week against the Giants. Backup Todd Collins will handoff to RB Matte Forte in the pass happy offense. Forte has only 134 rush yards compared to 16 receptions for 209 yards and 3 TDs. Oh by the way, Julius Peppers returns to Bank of America as a Bear. Cheer him or Boo him, your choice. For sure though, Jordan Gross will have his hands full with trying to stop Peppers. Not every play as Peppers will switch sides on the rush.
Surprise: Panthers 20, Bears 13
About the Author
Written by Chris Jones
Resident of Charlotte, NC and avid sports fan from little league to professional to extreme. Bachelors degree in broadcasting with a minor in physical education. Associated with sports most of professional career by freelancing in college then moving on to work for ESPN and ABC Sports for 17 years. When not attending, watching or playing sports, spare time spent as a basketball referee in North Carolina.