Carolina Panthers (2-1) at Baltimore Ravens (2-1)
|Date & Time||Sunday September 28, 2014, 1:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Baltimore Ravens -3 -- Over/Under: 39
The Carolina Panthers and Baltimore Ravens play Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium.
The Carolina Panthers are coming off an embarrassing loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, a game in which 264 rushing yards and 28 second half points. While we can consider that a fluke from the Panthers defense, their lack of running game is no laughing matter, as Carolina averages just 3.2 yards per carry and has yet to have a runner top 100 rushing yards. The lack of running game is putting a lot of pressure on Cam Newton, who is completing 66.7 percent of his passes but has been sacked seven times in two games. It’s safe to say that rookie receiver Kelvin Benjamin has arrived with five plays of 20 or more yards, but the overall issues for the Panthers offense are really concerning and certainly aren’t helping the defense out. Defensively, the Carolina Panthers are allowing 347 yards per game and have forced six turnovers and eight sacks. Luke Kuechly leads the Panthers with 34 tackles and Dwan Edwards has 2.5 sacks.
The Baltimore Ravens beat the Cleveland Browns in the final seconds and seem to be playing solid football despite being dragged through the Ray Rice scandal. A combination of Justin Forsett and Bernard Pierce has produced more than 300 rushing yards and has helped the Ravens average 4.6 yards per carry. The addition of Steve Smith is the real reason the Ravens offense has been successful, as six of his 18 receptions have produced 20 or more yards, and he leads Baltimore with 290 yards and a touchdown. Joe Flacco looks a little more comfortable than last year, as he’s completing 61.5 percent of his passes for four touchdowns and two picks. Defensively, the Baltimore Ravens are allowing 352 yards per game and have forced three turnovers and three sacks. C.J. Mosley leads the Ravens with 22 tackles and Terrell Suggs has three tackles for loss.
Any time I’m getting the better team and the points, I’m taking it every time. Besides, the Ravens are coming off an emotional win they probably shouldn’t have won to begin with, while the Panthers should come in with a chip on their shoulder after getting waxed. Give me the better, angrier team and the points, as I think Carolina wins this game SU.