The Carolina Panthers are back in action tomorrow night and will be taking on the Kansas City Chiefs in Bank of America Stadium. Panthers vs Chiefs will be the second preseason game for Carolina. The Panthers previously lost to the Buffalo Bills in the first preseason game by a score of 20-18. A lot of offensive pieces will be making their return to the field. Cam Newton, Jonathan Stewart, and DeAngelo Williams have all been cleared to play after missing the Bills game.
Time: Sunday, August 17 at 8 PM
Venue: Bank of America Stadium
Opponent: Kansas City Chiefs
The Kansas City Chiefs are a team that had a surprising turnaround last season. New coach Andy Reid took a roster with Alex Smith at quarterback and made the playoffs with it, but could not beat the Denver Broncos in two meetings. There are many who believe that the Chiefs cannot repeat that success this year against a tougher schedule.
The breakout star last year was former Texas Longhorns running back Jamal Charles, who ran for almost 1300 yards and 12 touchdowns. Charles was also a recipient of the short passing game that Andy Reid favors. This makes a quality fantasy target for fantasy team owners. Given the limitations of Smith’s game, Charles will likely see the ball a lot.
The last time the Panthers and the Chiefs met was after the horrific Jovan Belcher murder-suicide in 2012. The ultimately 2-14 Chiefs pulled together to beat the Panthers 27-21. The Panthers seem to have a habit of drawing these kinds of games also losing to an inferior Saints team in the first game after Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
Opposing Player to Watch: De’Anthony Thomas, RB
I almost put punter Dustin Colquitt in this spot, because we don’t get to see his leg very often in the NFC South.
Thomas was electrifying during the first two years that he was at Oregon. Though he was hurt last year and lost some momentum, he came back with a vengeance in the Chiefs’ first preseason game. He returned a punt 80 yards for a score. Given the Panthers historical difficulties on special teams, Thomas could be due for another. Like other small returners, he believes he can take it back every time. He has even dubbed himself the “Black Mamba.” We’ll see if Kobe Bryant sues on the trademark.
Panthers Player to Watch: Derek Anderson, QB
This may seem a bit odd since Newton is back and Anderson will be on the second team offense. But everyone has been raving about Johnny Manziel and Blake Bortles and their play largely against second team defenses. There is a term for a quarterback who dominates the second and third team defenses in preseason, it’s called Weinkeball. I think that Anderson combined with a number of receivers trying to make the team will make the second unit more dangerous than what Matt Blanchard was able to do last week. Put that against an overmatched Chiefs second unit and enjoy.
Underdog Panther Player to Watch: Tavarres King, WR
King may not be an underdog player much longer. He was the leading receiver against Buffalo and made some really nice catches. In the unsettled Panthers receiver corps, King has as good a chance to make it as anyone.
At 6’1” 200, the Georgia product has good strength and enough height. This game he might be on the field with Derek Anderson, offering him a more polished passer. Perhaps Anderson can gives us his best performance of ‘The King and I.’
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