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Know Your Enemy: The Carolina Panthers

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Know Your Enemy: The Carolina Panthers
Getty Images Jimmy Clausen Getty Images

The Bears head to Charlotte to play Carolina on Sunday, one of the four teams in the NFL who still have not won a game. (Detroit, Buffalo and San Francisco are the others.) How bad are the Panthers?

  • Their offense is ranked last in the league in terms of points scored. Starting quarterback Jimmy Clausen, a rookie out of Notre Dame, has completed less than half of the passes that he's thrown. Back-up quarterback Matt Moore has been sacked eight times. (Jay Cutler laughs at that number.) 
  • One of the problems with there offense is a lack of weapons. They rely heavily on running back DeAngelo Williams, who has 56 carries for 266 yards. Unfortunately, Williams suffers from the same end-zone allergy that afflicts Matt Forte. He has only one touchdown this season. When your best threat can't score, your team is in trouble. 
  • Steve Smith, their top receiver, isn't playing Sunday. He sprained his ankle in the Panthers' close loss to the New Orleans Saints. 
  • Their defense isn't much better, particularly at stopping the run. Julius Peppers heading to Chicago left a hole on the defense, without a major pass-rush threat. They've given up 454 yards on the ground. They're also deficient at creating turnovers, only forcing nine this season.

With a team this bad, it seems like the Bears should do well. It seems like they will win easily. But as any Bears fan knows, things aren't always what they seem.

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