On Sunday, the New York Jets will host the Carolina Panthers in a crucial game for both teams who are each coming off their bye week. The Jets can’t afford to slip any further away in the AFC Wild Card race and the Panthers need to keep pace with the NFC South leading New Orleans Saints. Kickoff inside MetLife Stadium is at 1 PM ET.
Since 1995, Carolina and the Jets have won 3 games apiece against each other. The two teams last played in 2013, which Carolina won that game 30-20.
Carolina (7-3) is 4-1 on the road and comes into this contest on a 3 game winning streak. Cam Newton had his best game of the season against Miami on MNF, prior to their bye week. The Panthers look to stifle the Jets offense and find the mismatches against the Jets defense when they’re on offense. Carolina currently holds one of the two NFC Wild Card spots and is 1 game back of New Orleans in their division. The Panthers have already improved on last year’s 6-6 record as they go for their 8th win of the season. Carolina is 3-0 against the AFC East on the year and look to sweep the division.
The Jets (4-6) suffered an ugly 15-10 loss to the Buccaneers prior to their bye week. There’s no hope of them catching the Patriots for the AFC East, so all post season aspirations are wrapped up in the AFC Wild Card race. They have lost 4 out their last 5 games and are 3-2 at home on the season. The Jets will look to wreak havoc against Carolina’s offense with their powerful defensive front. They will need a flawless game from QB Josh McCown to have any chance against the tough Panthers defense.
The spread opened with the Jets getting 5 points and it remains unchanged. The Over/Under opened at 39.5 points and it has gone up slightly to 40 total points.
The Jets are coming off their worst performance of the season offensively. Unfortunately, they’re running into one of the best defenses in the league. Carolina is 2nd in yards allowed, 4th in passing yards allowed, and 3rd against the run. They also only allow 18 ppg on the season and 17ppg over their last 4 games. The Jets only score 20 ppg on the season and will definitely have trouble finding the endzone in this game.
Cam Newton was a beast in his last game with 254 passing yards, 95 rushing yards and 4 touchdowns. He singlehandedly demoralized the Miami Dolphins. The Jets will have to try and contain Newton who leads all quarterbacks with 43.6 rushing yards per game. Unfortunately, New York has the 23rd ranked rush defense and allow 118 ypg. Carolina is coming off back-to-back 200 yard rushing games and look to establish the run against the Jets this weekend.
The Panthers might also get Cam’s favorite weapon back as tight end Greg Olsen is coming off a foot injury that has put him on the shelf since Week 2. The Jets have given up 6 touchdowns to opposing tight ends this season and would definitely have troubles with Olsen if he returns this week.
In their last game, McCown was hit 14 times by the Bucs and the Jets ran for only 56 yards. They will need to improve on both to have any chance this weekend. I don’t see either happening. I believe this will be the game where the Jets break and their season heads down the drain.
Carolina is too good on both sides of the ball and are really hitting their stride. With a returning Olsen in the mix, this team will get even better. Look for Carolina to pound the Jets defense on the ground and Cam will make his presence felt in this game both by his arm and his legs. I see Carolina easily covering the spread in this game by winning 30-17 over the Jets.
Carolina is 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games and 6-1 ATS in their last 7 road games. The Jets are 2-3-1 ATS in their 6 games against Carolina, 3-6 ATS in their last 9 games during November and 2-5 ATS over their last 7 games during Weeks 10 through 13.