Written and authored by National Football League Expert Analyst Bobby Wallace. Charliessports.com produces it for NFL news and notes.
The (1-1) New England Patriots of the AFC East Division will take a trip to “TOBACCO ROAD” ” to take on the (2-0) Carolina Panthers of the NFC South in 2015 NFL Exhibition action. The team will play on Friday, August 28th, 2015 at 7:30 PM EST. New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick is preparing his team for Friday’s contest like it’s the first regular game of the season. The NFL is a business, and this is the time of the preseason where players who have grown as football players and human beings will be off of the roster. Belichick is not immune to the emotions. The Carolina Panthers have produced two come from behind victories in the exhibition season. The Panthers coaching staff will also have to make some tough decisions. The opening betting line has Carolina as a one-point Home Favorite Against The Spread. The betting odds total is 44-points for Friday’s game.
The 2015 New England Patriots won game two of the preseason at New Orleans 26-24. For week three the coaching staff will give starters more playing time than usual. Friday’s contest the closest thing to a regular season game until the opener on August 10th. New England recently came to terms with longtime Colts wideout Reggie Wayne, who will see some time. Backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo completed 28 of 33 passes in the comeback win at New Orleans and looked impressive. The performance showed the coaching staff he is capable of being a leader; it was however against second and third teamers. Jimmy Garoppolo is going to get a chance to repeat last week’s performance. Starting signal-caller Tom Brady has not played much in the preseason, but he’s still preparing like it’s the 2016 Superbowl. The NFL has not overturned his appeal on “DEFLATEGATE”, a ruling should come down before week one. Offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels will have his eye on the o-line that has three rookies. The unit gave up seven sacks against Green Bay in the preseason opener. Brady is proven he doesn’t care who is blocking, running the football or catching his passes he will give 100%. The defense gave up too many points to the Saints offense and will be challenged again with Cam Newton and the Panthers. Starting linebacker Jamie Collins, who is arguably the team’s most athletic at the position has his struggles in pass coverage last Saturday.
The Carolina Panthers have come from behind in both of their preseason contests. Third-team quarterback Joe Webb has been the catalyst at Buffalo and last week at home against Miami. The UAB product is one of the only NFL quarterbacks to play on special teams, and that will probably earn him a roster spot. Webb is the backup to Cam Newton and Derek Anderson but has turned the coaches heads with his instinctive play. Webb threw for (131) yards with a touchdown. The Panther offense was dealt a bad blow this week when wideout Kelvin Benjamin was diagnosed with a torn ACL and will miss the season. Rookie wide receiver Devin Funchess is also dealing with an injury. Tedd Ginn Jr and Philly Brown must step up. Veteran Jerricho Cotchery has big game experience but lacks the size of both Benjamin and Funchess. The Panthers will also search the waiver wire for a replacement. The Carolina coaching staff got a good look at what 2015 first round draft choice Shaq Thompson is capable of doing. The former University of Washington star had three awesome plays against Miami. Head Coach Ron Rivera will play his starters longer than usual in the week three dress rehearsal.
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