Friday, December 11, 2009

Patriots will beat Panthers Sunday

What we’ve got on Sunday in Foxboro, to be frank, is a game that sounded awesome in April and is now something of a downer in December.

The New England Patriots of 2009 aren’t the Patriots we’ve gotten used to seeing over the past decade, and the Carolina Panthers of 2009 are nowhere close to the Panthers of 2008. The two teams have a combined record of 12-12 this season, and the Patriots’ bad vibes this week (sending players home due to tardiness, internal criticism of coach Bill Belichick by one of the team's star linebackers, Tom Brady’s assorted minor injuries that kept him out of practice Wednesday and Thursday) have made national news.

-- Nevertheless, it is the Patriots, and it certainly sounds like Brady is playing, and Matt Moore gets a chance to start against a vulnerable New England secondary. It will be interesting. Moore needs to throw for at least 200-250 yards Sunday, I think, for Carolina to have any chance at winning. The way to beat New England is to attack its back four the way New Orleans and Miami did, not go after its front seven (although abandoning the run entirely, of course, would be silly. I'd vote for about a 50-50 split in this one).

-- The Patriots have lost three of their past four games, but they are 6-0 at home this season. They are a team that is at least 10 points better at home than on the road.

-- Who will give less insight in the coaches’ postgame press conference? Generally, John Fox has this category locked up every week, but on Sunday he faces the master – Bill Belichick.

-- As previously promised in this space, the last time I was going to pick the Panthers to win a game in 2009 occurred last Sunday, when with reluctance I chose Carolina to beat Tampa Bay by eight points (the Panthers won by 10).

With little reluctance, my pick for Sunday's game is:

New England 26, Carolina 17.

(The stats: I am 7-5 picking Panthers' games so far this season. Not very good, in other words. But hey, in the Patriots' AFC East, it would lead the division).


Anonymous said...

Call me crazy but I honestly think this is one The Panthers can steal. I just have a strange feeling..maybe I'll go see a doc.

Jennifer said...

Lets hope Brady's injuries or that his game plan is thrown because he has his mind on diaper duty gets the Cats a Win <:-)

Good Luck Panthers....

Anonymous said...

Tell Brady that I saw Gisele with Tiger.

Julie said...

It won't be easy, but after seeing the Browns beat the Steelers, I know anything is possible!

Ghoul said...

I don't think we could win if Moore threw for 500 yds and 10 TDs today, maybe on Sunday.

MrBernz said...

Scott how can you say split passing & rushing 50/50? The Panthers have the #3 rushing game, but its probably really #1 they just have less cause the coaches held them back. The Pats have the 15th rushing defense, thats perfect for our rushing game, we ran all over some of the best rushing defenses. I say Moore throws for another 150, maybe 200 yards & if he doesnt turn the ball over we win. We have a run pass ratio of 75%/25%.

Anonymous said...

Panthers will lose, hmmm thanks for the brilliant insight Captain Obvious, er I mean Scott.

Glad you were able to figure out this one out on your own. Now go lie down and take some aspirin. We don't want you hurting yourslef......

Curtis said...

I'm with you Mr. Bernz...this team needs to keep the ball on the ground more often than not. I know we hear it a lot, but run to set up the pass...if the Pats are vulnerable in the secondar, hit them up with some of the longer passes like we saw last week (but maybe just a few more shots). Nevertheless, run, run, run.

I'd like to see Moore throw it about 20 times max in this one...if he can hit on 13 or 14 of his attempts and go for 175 or 200 like Bernz said, I think we are in the right play calling.

Of course, this is all assuming our Defense holds up and keeps the Pats scoring under control. That may be asking too much and maybe why Scott is calling for more passing (presumably to lead to more scoring for us).

But, fact is, I don't see us being able to win a shoot out with Brady and the Pats. Our chance to win is to run & control the clock, play tight defense and hold the Pats.

If it turns into a passing game like Scott is calling for, I don't see us being able to win that one. I seriously start to worry if we are passing more than running in this one.