The Panthers have hit the skids it seems, losing their last three games. These three losses have all been close, however, never losing by more than eight points, and all this has come without their star running back Christian McCaffrey. With McCaffrey slated to make a return this week, the Chiefs can’t afford to overlook the Panthers.
None of the last three Panthers losses have been blowouts, losing by a combined 18 points in those three games. They have shown a propensity for keeping games close this season. It has been a season of runs for the Panthers, starting out 0-2, then picking up three straight wins, then dropping three straight.
They have had to battle most of this season without their star and main offensive weapon Christian McCaffrey, who has been out since week 2 with a high ankle sprain. McCaffrey returned to the practice field this week. Coach Matt Rhule says he hopes that McCaffrey will be healthy enough to play this week at Arrowhead against the defending world champion Chiefs.
Not only is McCaffrey slated to return this week, but so is the Panthers top corner Rasul Douglas off of the COVID-19 list. Douglas has played great this year, giving up only 18 receptions on just 30 targets to receivers he covered this year.
Douglas was picked up by the Panthers after he failed to make the Eagles 53-man roster to start this season and has wasted no time in making a name for himself, quickly moving up the depth chart to become CB2 on the Panthers squad. This will be a huge help to the Panthers in shutting down the Chiefs high flying pass offense.
The Chiefs need to come out firing to make sure there isn’t a repeat of the Raiders game. Playing like their hair is on fire and getting out to an early lead will ensure the Chiefs take a decent lead and don’t relinquish it to this Panthers team who have been very adept at keeping games close this season.
They cannot afford to overlook this game like they did against the 4-3 Las Vegas Raiders, who the Panthers also lost to in their first game this season 34-30. Having a common enemy will be good for tape study, so the Chiefs should come into this game well prepared, assuming they give the game the credence it deserves. I believe the Chiefs got it out of their system earlier in the year when they seemed to waltz into the Raiders game unprepared and fail to make their usual adjustments at halftime.
The Chiefs cannot afford to overlook the upcoming game this week, and I don’t think they will. They had a hiccup earlier this year against the Raiders at Arrowhead, and I believe they got it out of their system. Andy Reid coached teams very rarely show up to games unprepared, and that game was against Jon Gruden, who has a lot more coaching experience than the Panthers first year head coach Matt Rhule.
As long as the Chiefs cross their T’s and dot their I’s, this game should be another quick and easy game at noon on Sunday. But if they come in expecting the Panthers to roll over, they will have another thing coming. Let’s hope Andy and the boys come out firing on Sunday!