For the Carolina Panthers this year, the expectations will remain the same, that they should be able to take down any team in the NFC en route to making it to the Super Bowl. They have the talent on both sides of the ball, and, having been there four seasons ago, they are yearning to get back there. Tonight we will see their younger guys and rookies, and see if they are cut out for the spotlight.
Chicago, on the other hand, has legitimate pressure to not only make the postseason but to make some noise when they get there. Mike Davis is coming off an impressive year with Seattle and will be battling to make it as a depth RB here, while rookie David Montgomery is trying to lock down the starting RB spot ahead of Tarik Cohen, who will get reps all over the field. The talent in Chicago is undeniable, so let’s see what they show us this preseason.
The spread for tonight’s game favors the Bears by three points (CHI -3). The over/under is set at 33.5
Carolina Trying To Start On A High Note
Cam Newton will not be playing tonight, nor should he with his history of taking big hits, due to how he plays. Having him rest through the preseason is the best move for the organization. And so the backup QB battle will begin. Taylor Heinicke served as Cam’s No. 2 last year, but Will Grier is hoping to come in and unseat him in that position and potentially see game action during his rookie season. Another guy to watch is Kyle Allen, who is hoping to make a positive impression on the coaching staff.
Their defense has only gotten better with the additions of Dontari Poe, Bruce Irvin, and the re-signing of old flame Tre Boston. Tonight we watch the backups, but when the year starts, they will be ferocious.
Chicago Looks To Make Carolina Uncomfortable
Tonight will not be about Mitchell Trubisky or Tarik Cohen, but perhaps the players who will back them up and be needed for emergency situations next month. Look for the likes of Cordarelle Patterson, Tanner Gentry, Marvin Hall, etc., at the receiver spots to have a lot of opportunities to get big reps. Kerrith Whyte Jr. and Ryan Nall should also get enough carries to try and show either the Bears or another team around the league that they can make it in the NFL as legitimate running backs.
The likes of Sherrick McManis, Mathieu Bettis, Michael Joseph, and Jalen Dalton on defense will get a lot of field time for Chicago. Each of them is buried on the depth chart and this first preseason game, specifically in the second half, will provide them the reps that they need.
Panthers Pick Up The Win
Make sure you bet on Carolina folks. They will come away with a win, and Will Grier’s first time running an NFL offense will be must-see.
Free Play: CAR +3
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