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Know Your Enemy: The Carolina Panthers

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    NEWSLETTERS

    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.