Know Your Enemy: The Carolina Panthers - NBC Chicago
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Know Your Enemy: The Carolina Panthers



    The Carolina Panthers will head to Chicago this weekend, and though the Bears played them last season, how much do we really know about this team that wears the same colors that would adorn a nightclub in the '80s?

    He won the Heisman for a reason: There's no getting around the fact that Cam Newton has an insane amount of talent. He had 1,012 yards in his first three games. He had 432 yards against Green Bay, the same team who just made minced meat of the Bears offense. Newton is tall, has a cannon arm, and can gives the Bears secondary a very long day.

    Old doesn't mean bad
    : Age has not slowed Steve Smith. He pulled down 178 yards in its first week, and in the second week. The rain kept Smith from making many catches against the Jaguars, but he can wreak havoc on the Bears on Sunday.

    Hello, old friend: Ron Rivera was a Bears player, a Bears coach, and some people (like this writer) wanted him to be the Bears head coach. Though he hasn't been with the Bears since 2006, it will still be odd seeing the man who was key to so many Bears successes on the other sideline wearing teal. (Teal! Like that's even a real football color.)

    Hello, old friend part II
    : After being Jay Cutler's best option for touchdowns for two seasons, Olsen was traded to the Panthers where he has found success. He already has 12 catches and a touchdown for Carolina, and watching him on the field will be one more indicator that Jerry Angelo often drafts in the first round with no lasting plan.

    Triple-headed rushing attack
    : The Panthers have three different players who can gain yards on the ground. Newton is a mobile QB who has 98 yards this season, and he is helped by Jonathan Stewart and DeAngelo Williams.

    Uh, the defense?
    The Panthers have had close games because they have a high-powered offense, not because of an amazing defense. They don't have big-play ability, and have forced few turnovers this season. They have just five sacks in three games, which is a day at the park for Cutler.

    Deceiving record:
    Though they are 1-2 like the Bears, they have had close games with the Packers and Cardinals on the way to that record.