Cardinals Panthers Week 8

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Week 8

NFL Pick


This week will have on display two of the NFL’s most underwhelming teams to this point.  The Cardinals are 3-3-1, having tied last week but won each of the previous two Games. They are in second place in the NFC West. The Panthers have been worse, sitting at 1-5. They just can’t seem to get anything right in 2016. Carolina, however, is a 2.5-point favorite, and the 5Dimes Sportsbook holds this Game’s over/under at 47.5.

Carson Palmer seems to have been cleaning up his Game since his Four-interception Game at Buffalo. He has averaged 281 passing yards per Game over the last three and has thrown two touchdowns and one interception in the same span.

LArry Fitzgerald has been his ever-present, ever-consistent self. He’s no longer an elite receiver in the Game, but he makes up for it with his reliability. Fitzgerald has only dropped below 60 receiving yards oNCe this season and has a minimum of five receptions in every Game. John Brown and Michael Floyd are also threats to contend with on the outside.

Strangely, as good as Palmer and the receivers have been in recent years, the headliner is a relatively obscure player to fans that don’t follow the entire league tightly. David Johnson is certainly one to watch. He leads the team with 681 rushing yards — nearly 100 per Game — and eight rushing TDs. Johnson is also second on the team in receptions and receiving yards with 28 for 323 yards. He has over 1,000 yards from scrimmage early on. Sure, there should be some skepticism of how healthy he’ll be able to stay, but Johnson has definitely looked like a young, unexpected star.

The Panthers have largely been awful on the defensive side of the ball. Without Josh Norman there have been struggles in the secondary. It just seems confounding as to how the difficulties have been as big as they have. Carolina is averaging allowing 371.5 yards per Game — 24th in the league — and 282.0 passing yards per Game — 26th in the NFL. If Palmer is to have success this is his chance.

Cam Newton seems to have regressed as much as the defense has. He’s completing a lower percentage of his passes than he has in any other season of his career. Newton is also rushing for fewer yards per Game than he has in any other season in his NFL career. That’s the part of his Game that makes him so dynamic.

Greg Olsen has been a one-man wrecking crew. Kelvin Benjamin has been OK. The running Game just hasn’t been anything worth talking about.

Winning in the NFL is all about defense. You can’t be successful in this league without a defense. The 1-5 Panthers have a defense that ranks 29th in the NFL (using yards per point). We could end the write up right there. But we’ll throw in the fact that Arizona ranks 2nd in total yards allowed per Game and 3rd in passing yards allowed per Game. Cardinals +3


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