Week 10: Denver Broncos V.S. Carolina Panthers
- QuarterbackAfter coming off of season ending neck surgery with the Colts last season, Peyton Manning has reassured the people of Denver that he is still in elite form. His comeback campaign has been nothing short of brilliant, putting the Broncos in the playoff hunt early and ranking them in the top 3 offenses in the league.Cam Newton has been struggling to live up to the hype of his rookie season. Finally catching a break against a weakened and struggling Redskins team last week. Cam really needs to not get comfortable if he plans on chalking up another W for his team. Even with the win last week he missed wide open targets he should have hit in stride.
- OffenseThe Broncos are going through the same motions in the running game as their competition this week. What sets them apart is their quarterback, the poise, decision making, and arm itself gives the Broncos a huge advantage on Offense. If you have watched this offense go to work this season, you know they are dangerous and don't so many signs of weakness. Just ask Phillips Rivers.Ranked 20th, it has been a slow and grueling start to get the offense running like it did last season. Star veteran wide out, Steve Smith, pulled in his first touchdown of the season last week against a last ranked team in the Redskins. Their running back by committee approach hasn't seemed to fully take effect either. Williams was offered a large contract this past off season and he has yet to live up to those figures in his contract.
- DefenseNot much separates the Broncos from the Panthers on Defense. The Broncos defense does have the comfort of knowing they have a high powered offense to get them out of trouble, but that may also work against them at times. Giving up 24 points early to the Chargers earlier in the season and having their star QB help bail them out helped considerably. Though the defenses may look almost identical, the Broncos are still ranked higher and also have two more int's this season.Having to deal with much criticism this season and barely losing games due to offensive mistakes. The Panthers are almost the exact opposite of the Broncos. Cam Newton had a few misques that cost them games and the media has fed off of his sophmore slump, bringing the whole team down. As long as they don't get too comfortable with the win they pulled out last week, I believe this Panthers defense takes the cake here. Let's see how they fair against Manning now.
- Special TeamsMatt Prater is 10 for 10 on field goals with 2 being from 50+ and the recently acquired Trindon Holliday proved he isn't afraid to take a kick 100+ yards for a score. The 5'5 Baton Rouge native, ran through the Bengals special teams last week like he was playing flag football. With impressive returns like that, it is hard not to give the Broncos the edge here.The Panthers first year kicker, Medlock, hasn't had much of an opportunity to show what he has this season. Every time they have been in field goal range, the Panthers have needed touchdowns. As far as returners go, Carolina seems to be having the same problem they are with the running game. They drafted Joe Adams in hopes he would exploit opposing teams like he did in college. Though there have been signs of greatness, we have seen that he is prone to muff and, or fumble returns.
The Broncos shouldn't have too much trouble taking care of the struggling Panthers. Barring some injury to Peyton Manning, the Panthers will have their hands full all game. Manning has been consistent all season and has shown no signs of slowing down. Newton can only hope that his season only improves from here on out. Making a statement against the Broncos would be a nice start, but I just don't see it happening.