Here we got with our Monday Night Football. The Panthers (5-8) are in last place in the NFC South and looking to play spoiler. Washington (7-5-1), which is in third place in the NFC East, is still in contention for a wild card. For Washington to get there, a few teams need to lose along the way and the Redskins need to reel off three wins.
The Panthers have had a disappointing season. This is especially the case as in the last few years they have been in the hunt for that elusive Super Bowl victory. In their last five games, Carolina is 2-3. Last week, they beat San Diego 28-16. In the two games prior, the team lost to Seattle 40-7 and Oakland 35-32. Their other win over the past five weeks was when they beat New Orleans 23-20. On Nov. 13, Kansas City managed a win over the Panthers 20-17.
In their last five games, the Redskins have gone 3-2. They had two big wins on Nov. 13 and Nov. 20 when they beat Minnesota 26-20 and Green Bay 42-24. Those two wins were followed by two losses to Dallas 31-26 and Arizona 31-23. Last week, the Skins beat the Eagles 27-22.
Carolina Offense vs. Redskins Defense
QB Cam Newton is listed as questionable with an injured shoulder. He’s been completing 53.5% of his passes and has tossed 15 TD passes and 9 INTs. He’s been sacked 29 times. Derek Anderson (67.9 COMP%, 2 TDs, 5 INTs, 0 Sacks) may play instead of Newton. Anderson is a more accurate passer, but Newton brings excellent running chops with his game.
WR Kelvin Benjamin, who has caught five TD passes, is questionable also. TE Greg Olsen (65 REC, 907 YDs, 14.0 AVG, 3 TDs) and WR Ten Ginn Jr. (43 REC, 590 YDs, 13.7 AVG, 3 TDs) are quality pass catchers. RB Jonathan Stewart (162 ATT, 577 YDs, 3.6 AVG, 8 TDs) will be carrying the ball. The Panthers are averaging 23.9 PPG and have a red zone success rate of 66.67%, which is second in the NFL. The biggest problem for this offense is its uneven passing game.
The Redskins are allowing opponents 24.4 PPG. They’ve made 36 sacks and have forced 18 fumbles. They also have 44 TFL and 55 PD. The downside is their lack of interceptions, which stands at eight. Major forces like the team’s leading tackler, Will Compton (101 TCKLs), and the top sacker, Ryan Kerrigan (11 Sacks, 3 TFL, 2 INTs), are questionable. DE Trent Murphy, who has eight sacks, six TFL, and three forced fumbles, is ready to play.
Washington Offense vs. Panthers Defense
The Washington Redskins are averaging 25.4 PPG. QB Kirk Cousins (67.5 COMP%, 23 TDs, 9 INTs, 18 Sacks) is having a fine season. Cousins has a boatload of sound pass catchers to toss to including Jamison Crowder (60 REC, 804 TDs, 13.4 AVG, 7 TDs) and DeSean Jackson (42 REC, 746 YDs, 17.8 AVG, 4 TDS). The running game is three deep, and includes top Washington rusher Robert Kelley (128 ATT, 587 YDs, 4.6 AVG, 5 TDs). Matt Jones and Chris Thompson also provide solid ground gains and scoring potential. Washington’s red zone offense is just 44.90%, which is 27th in the NFL. The O-line has allowed merely 18 sacks.
Although it has some solid stats, the Panther defense is giving up quite a few points, 25.9 per game. They bring an impressive 39 sacks, 15 INTs, and 15 FF to this game. They also have 48 TFL and 56 PD. LB Luke Kuechly (102 TCKLs, 2 Sacks, 7 TFL, 6 PD, 1 INT, 1 FF) has been cleared to play after undergoing concussion protocol, but he’s still listed as questionable. LB Thomas Davis and safety Kurt Coleman each have three picks and a combined nine PD. DE Mario Addison leads the team in sacks with 7.5. Former Panther Josh Norman returns to Carolina and looks to be ready to take on his former team with a vengeance. Norman has one pick, 13 PD, and two forced fumbles.
Carolina Panthers Play Washington Redskins Free Pick
Our Monday Night Football Carolina Panthers play Washington Redskins free pick has two injury-ridden teams coming together. The spread has Washington at -7.0. This game looks as if it can go either way. We’re taking the Panthers at +7.0. We think they will at least keep it close.