Carolina Panthers vs. Kansas City Chiefs NFL Pick, Odds, Prediction 8/17/14
Kansas City Chiefs (1-0 preseason) at Carolina Panthers (0-1 preseason)
NFL Football: Sunday, August 17, 2014 at 8:00 pm (Bank of America Stadium)
The Line: Carolina Panthers -3 -- Over/Under: 39 See the Latest Odds
The Chiefs and Panthers square off in week two of the preseason in a nationally televised game on FOX on Sunday night at 8pm ET.
The Kansas City Chiefs played a shootout in week one of the preseason, eventually emerging victorious 41-39 over the Bengals. The Chiefs scored points on big plays in all three phases in the win, including an 80 yard punt return from De'Anthony Thomas, a 36 yard pick six from Sean Smith, a 69 yard connection from Chase Daniel to TE Travis Kelce, and another interception return for a TD for 51 yards by Malcolm Bronson. The Chiefs were generally efficient on offense in the win outside of a pick six thrown by Chase Daniel, excelling most notably in the running game with 25 carries for 140 yards. With Jamaal Charles figuring to get more than three carries in this game, it’s possible the run game maintains a strong level of performance. The Chiefs passing game features a lot of short passes designed to minimize turnovers and get skill players in space, which contributed to the 13/18 mark in passing in week one across Chase Daniel, Alex Smith, and Tyler Bray. While the defense managed to score in week one, it should be concerning that they allowed 5.6 yards per carry to the Bengals. The Chiefs struggled on defense to close the 2013 season as well, including in the wildcard round of the playoffs where they allowed 35 second half points in a 45-44 loss to the Colts. Kansas City head coach Andy Reid is 28-33 straight up all time in the preseason.
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The Carolina Panthers lost their week one preseason game 20-18 against the Bills, but Cam Newton didn’t see action after undergoing offseason surgery on his ankle. Instead, the dynamic Joe Webb saw the bulk of time at QB, completing 16/28 passes for 180 yards with 1 TD and 1 INT, and using his legs for four runs for 30 yards. DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart failed to see work out of the backfield, resulting in meager output from the ground game as backs mustered just 29 yards on 18 carries. The defense that became the Panthers calling card last season was generally sharp in the opener after ranking 6th in passing yards allowed at 214.3 per game and 2nd in rushing yards allowed at 86.9 per game in 2013. The Panthers finished 12-4 last season, losing to the 49ers in the divisional round of the playoffs. Head coach Ron Rivera is 6-7 career during the preseason, including a 3-1 mark last season.
The Panthers are the better defensive team and certainly could be the better offensive team when healthy, but I have my doubts that Carolina will open up its offense after the way they approached game one. I’ll bite on the field goal head start with the Chiefs.