Arizona (3-3-1) at Carolina (1-5)
When: Sunday, October 30th 2016
Where: Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, NC
Time: 1:00 ET | TV: FOX
The Arizona Cardinals and Carolina Panthers met in last year’s NFC Championship Game, but both have struggled so far this season. The Panthers crushed the Cardinals in that game 49-15, but they have won just once in six games in 2016. Carolina is coming off a bye after getting beat in New Orleans 41-38 in a game that the Panthers scored some late points to make it closer than it really was. Carolina again has one of the league’s most prolific offenses, ranking fifth in scoring and fourth in total yards, but a league-worst 16 turnovers have kept the defense on its heels. Four of those giveaways came in a loss to Tampa Bay in Week 5 that quarterback Cam Newton missed with a concussion. Newton hasn’t been the same this year with six interceptions and lost a fumble. The Panthers are tough against the run, but the secondary has been awful, allowing at least 460 passing yards in two of the last three games. Losing CB Josh Norman to free agency seems to be having an effect on the defense.
The Cardinals, meanwhile, are doing a little better, but the their .500 record is a far cry from what was expected of them. Arizona somehow racked-up a season-high 443 total yards without a turnover last week but still came away with just six points and an unfulfilling 6-6 tie against Seattle. David Johnson continues to carry the offense, as he ranks second in the NFL in rushing (681 yards) and leads the league in scrimmage yards and rushing touchdowns (eight). QB Carson Palmer, who has won 11 of his last 13 road starts and has posted a quarterback rating of 100 or better in two of his last three away from home, threw four interceptions in the January game against Carolina. The defense has been great, ranking second in total defense after holding five straight opponents under 300 total yards.
Carolina is way better than their 1-5 record and if they can stop turning the ball over and forcing the defense into tough situations, they’ll start winning again. Palmer just hasn’t been very good this year with only seven touchdowns and five picks. I think Carolina will stop the run and have a big offensive showing and beat the Cardinals easily.
Pick: Panthers -3