Matt and Brendan are back again this week giving their take on who needs a win the most in week 4. They both agreed previously to not include the Saints because it was too obvious of a choice.
Matt – Carolina Panthers
Sports have the tendency to be “what have you done for me lately” and for Cam Netwon, the second year quarterback has fallen flat. Against the Giants, Newton threw three picks and appeared to be the definition of sophomore slump. Even worse, his attitude caused fans and media to question his role as a leader and his maturity.
This Sunday, the 1-2 Panthers face an undefeated Falcons team in Atlanta. Normally, there’s pressure against a divisional rival and facing on the road. However with the circumstances surrounding Newton, it’s important they make a statement and pull off the upset.
Although, this doesn’t all rely on Newton either. The Panthers have to act as a team and find their rhythm. The Panthers’ ground game ranks 20th in rushing with 289 yards. Even worse, their defense is 24th with 1149 yards given up.
Expectations are high for the first time in Carolina since their playoff days. What better way to start living up to those expectations with an upset over Atlanta?
Brendan - Denver Broncos
Since 2000, the earliest a Peyton Manning led team lost 3 games was week 6 in 2001. Luckily for the Broncos, the AFC West is wide open and a win this weekend would put them back at .500. The Broncos had a brutal stretch to open the season with losses against the Falcons and Texans, two of the three remaining undefeated teams in the league.
With a game at home against the Oakland Raiders, a win is definitely possible. In fact, given the issues the Raiders have had defending the pass, this game sets up perfectly for Manning and the Broncos offense.
The Broncos defense will be challenged by the Raiders passing game, which are 8th in the league in passing, but without injured Wide Receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey (Doubtful) the Broncos will have one less receiver to worry about.
This has the makings of an easy Broncos win, but you can never take anything for granted in the NFL and the Broncos will have to perform on the field. Regardless, the Broncos need the win to stay within striking distance of the San Diego Chargers and not lose a division game to an inferior opponent.