by Inside the Redzone staff – Chris Mrnak
Home team: Carolina Panthers
Last year, if you mentioned a Panthers-Jaguars match-up, the only person that would’ve talked to you about the game for more than 6 seconds before punching you in the face, would’ve been your bookie. This year, exciting additions to each team means an entertaining game is on the horizon. So uncover your face and let’s see what’s going to happen on Sunday.
On the Panthers side, you have arguably the most exciting player in football right now: rookie Cam Newton. His squad could very well be 2-0 right now, instead of 0-2 – but don’t’ blame Cam – he’s doing his part and putting on a show. The Jaguars defense is pretty good, so I don’t see him throwing for another 400+ yards. I do see him throwing for 300-yards and two scores, while running for 60 and a score. Steve Smith will have 110 yards and catch both touchdowns. DeAngelo Williams cranks it up a notch with 100 yards rushing and a touchdown.
The Jaguars hand the quarterback keys to their rookie, Blaine Gabbert this week. He’s been effective in the short stints that he’s played in relief of Luke McCown. I see the Panthers throwing defenders at him all day to see how he holds up. I think he’ll hold up okay and be effective to the tune of 200-yards and a touchdown to Marcedes Lewis. Maurice Jones-Drew will try to help his rookie QB out with 70-yards and a touchdown, but Newton will outplay his rookie counterpart and notch his first NFL win.