1:02 pm
November 7

Patriots @ Panthers

Who will WIN this matchup?

New England Patriots (4-4)

@ Carolina Panthers (4-4)


Current odds:

New England Patriots: (-165)

Carolina Panthers: (+145)


• The line for this game is New England by 3 points.

• The New England Patriots finally have their offense revved up at a pretty good clip. On Sunday will come a different type of challenge in the Carolina Panthers, who’ve been mostly strong on defense. The teams will meet in Charlotte, N.C., with one of them set to move above the .500 mark.

• The Patriots are coming off wins against the New York Jets and Los Angeles Chargers. Those have come with perhaps the Pats’ two best offensive performances.

• Carolina should present a stiff defense, giving up an average of 19.9 points per game. The Panthers have 21 sacks this season. Patriots quarterback Mac Jones has been sacked just twice across the past two games.

• The Panthers played their past two games on the road, scoring a total of one touchdown. But Zane Gonzalez’s four field goals gave them a lift in a 19-13 victory at Atlanta, snapping a four-game losing streak. That included a 57-yarder on his way to being named the NFC Special Teams Player of the Week.

• There are several unanswered questions about Carolina’s offense, beginning at quarterback. Sam Darnold left in the fourth quarter at Atlanta, entering the concussion protocol, and P.J. Walker filled in. Darnold did little in Wednesday’s practice, also dealing with a shoulder ailment. Panthers coach Matt Rhule said Walker has been put in challenging situations.

• Belichick said Walker appears to be more elusive than Darnold, whose status isn’t likely to be resolved until the weekend. The New England coach said Walker’s arm strength has been evident, even referencing what he has seen by reviewing Carolina’s preseason games.

• Carolina could receive a boost if running back Christian McCaffrey plays; he’s back at practice after a stint on injured reserve. He hasn’t played since the third game of the season.

• The Patriots have been steady on the ground as well. Running back Damien Harris has a rushing touchdown in each of the past four games – including two against the Jets — and ranks sixth in NFL rushing with 517 yards.

• Jakobi Meyers, who played at North Carolina State, is New England’s top receiver with 45 catches and 427 yards.

• Cornerback Stephon Gilmore played in his first game for the Panthers last week, taking part in 17 defensive plays — frequently on third downs. He joined Carolina several weeks ago after a stellar run with the Patriots.

• The Patriots are 3-0 on the road. This will mark the second consecutive road game for New England.

• Carolina is 4-2 in regular-season matchups with the Patriots, winning the past two meetings.

• Since 2002, New England holds the best inter-conference record in the NFL, winning 59 of 79 games against NFC opponents.

StreakSmarter Pick
New England Patriots