Panthers vs Patriots: 4 players to watch for Preseason Week 3 matchup
The Panthers will visit the Patriots tonight in their third preseason game of the 2019 schedule.
After getting teased two weeks in a row, Carolina fans will finally get to see QB1 take the field this evening. Since last season ended, Newton has undergone another shoulder surgery and has transformed his throwing mechanics. The hope is to take the stress off his cannon and open up the deep passing game again. Coach Ron Rivera says Cam will play three or four series against New England.
If they gave out such an award, Samuel would have been the undisputed MVP of Panthers training camp this year. Samuel was regularly roasting Carolina’s cornerbacks in individual and team drills for huge gains down the field. Then the Bills came to town for two joint practices and he did the same to them. If Newton and Samuel can beat the famously tough Patriots secondary on a long ball, this hype train might run right off the tracks.
A lot of ink has been spilled over the Panthers’ new look defensive line, which looks like one of the best in the NFL at least on paper. Less attention has been paid to the guy in the middle of it all. We know Kawann Short, Gerald McCoy and company are going to perform. A huge x-factor for Carolina’s defense will be if Poe can get back to the form he showed early in his career in Kansas City and his one year in Atlanta. If he can, there won’t be anywhere for opposing offensive lines to hide.
Finally, the Panthers have a bit of a kicker controversy brewing. Rivera has essentially given Graham Gano the month off in order to rest his leg. In Gano’s place, Joey Slye has played well enough to get a lot of fans calling for him to make the roster. Slye has yet to miss a field goal or an extra point this preseason. If that continues, it’s possible the team will consider making a long-term change. Gano is unlikely to get cut, but either one could be trade-bait before the season begins.