1:00 pm
December 9

Panthers @ Browns

Who will WIN this matchup?

Carolina Panthers (6-6)

@ Cleveland Browns (4-7)


Current odds:

Carolina Panthers: (-110)

Cleveland Browns: (-110)


•  The line for this game is even.

• The Carolina Panthers need a road win over the Cleveland Browns on Sunday to buoy their fading playoff hopes. The Panthers have lost four straight contests to slide from division title contender to the fringe of the playoff picture. With two matchups against NFC South-leading New Orleans in the final three weeks of the regular season, the Panthers can’t afford a fifth consecutive loss.

• The Browns aren’t quite postseason-ready, but they’ve made huge strides since last year’s winless campaign. Cleveland had a two-game winning streak snapped in a 29-13 loss at Houston last week, but winning out would give the team its first winning season since 2007.

• Carolina has watched its season start to slip away one excruciating loss at a time, as its last three defeats have come by a total of 11 points. Cam Newton quietly is putting together an excellent season, as he has passed for 2,999 yards with 24 touchdowns and 11 interceptions while combining with Christian McCaffrey to lead the league’s No. 2 rushing offense. Turnovers have been the killer during the losing streak, as the Panthers have eight giveaways in their last four game after committing only seven during a 6-2 start.

• Rookies Baker Mayfield and Nick Chubb have made Cleveland’s offense respectable, and the former passed for a career-high 397 yards in last week’s loss to Houston. The Browns were done in by four turnovers against the Texans, and the defense failed to record a takeaway for the first time all season. Second-year defensive end Myles Garrett (11.5 sacks) has been the brightest spot on a defense that ranks 29th against the pass and 28th versus the run.

• McCaffrey is the first player in NFL history with at least 50 yards both rushing and receiving in five consecutive games.

• Mayfield’s 263.9 passing yards per game is the second-highest average among rookies since 1970 behind only Andrew Luck’s 273.4.

• Newton has thrown at least two touchdown passes in 11 consecutive games, the second-longest active streak in the league behind Philip Rivers’ 13-game run.

StreakSmarter Pick
Carolina Panthers