Wednesday, October 19, 2011

JZN NFL Predictions vs. Spread: Washington Redskins at Carolina Panthers (Week 7, 2011-12)


The Rex Grossman era has officially been postponed for the Washington Redskins: John Beck will get the starting nod against Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers. Will injuries and the quarterback change do the Redskins in?

The early spread on this game is Panthers (-1). Here are some of the key aspects of the game and what to watch out for in pick ’em leagues. All lines from Y! Sports and injury reports from CBS Sports as of October 19, 2011. Always update yourselves with injury lines because they’ll change throughout the week.

Current Personal Picks Record (Straights Only)
Carolina Panthers 6-0
Washington Redskins 3-2

Key Injuries
OT Jeff Otah, LB Omar Gaither, LB Thomas Williams, WR Anthony Armstrong, T Trent Williams, G Kory Lichtensteiger (Out), TE Chris Cooley (Out)

Keys to the Game
  • Can John Beck make the big passing plays?
  • Can the Panthers contain Tim Hightower?
  • Is Mike Shanahan in risk of losing team
  • Will the Redskins’ defense befuddle Newton?
  • Can the Panthers defense make enough stops?
  • Could Fred Davis be an X-Factor?
  • How much will the injuries on the offensive line hurt the Redskins?

Summary
I’m not a fan of Mike Shanahan’s “Bench quarterback after one bad game” shtick. I honestly have to wonder when Shanahan will start losing that team because I know I’d be getting frustrated with those antics. They’re 3-2 and Beck can’t be envisioned as an upgrade over Grossman. Otherwise, why wasn’t he starting in the first place?

The Panthers have been competitive in each of their games heading into the fourth quarter. The problem is that they can’t finish off their opponents. Cam Newton is also throwing too many interceptions. That’s understandable for a rookie though; just look at Peyton Manning’s first season.

The Panthers’ passing defense is surrendering an average of 8.5 yards per completion. They’re also surrendering over 140 rushing yards per game. Pick your poison when you’re playing this defense.Without Jon Beason and Thomas Davis, they may have a difficult time containing Fred Davis.

The Redskins’ have the NFL’s third-best defense in opponents’ passer rating. Opponents have averaged a 71.8 QB rating against them this season. That’s not good for Newton, who has thrown nine interceptions.

This is a tough game here. I’m rolling with the Redskins because of their defense. However, a loss would be demoralizing for them. It’d be even worse if Beck didn’t play well. They’re basically stuck with Beck now. This overreaction could blow up in Shanahan’s face.

Final Predictions:
Against the Spread: Washington Redskins (+1)
Straight: Washington Redskins 17, Carolina Panthers 10

Stat sources:

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