Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, October 10, four days before the Washington Redskins host the Carolina Panthers.
One good thing about a short week after a bad loss is that you must immediately turn your attention to the next game—or you have to try to, anyway. The hangover effect and some other factors as the game against the Panthers come into focus.
Can't let one loss turn into two
The Redskins’ loss to the Saints dropped the Redskins to 0-6 on Monday nights since the start of the 2015 season. In the games following the previous five losses the Redskins are 3-2, so they have shown some ability to rebound following the Monday night futility. After the drubbing they took against the Saints, it will be even more important for them to bounce back and win a conference home game.
The Cam factor
The Redskins played at Carolina in Cam Newton’s rookie year. On one play, Brian Orakpo sacked him with a classic blindside hit, the kind of blow that usually ends up with the ball on the ground and with the quarterback shaken up. Not only did Newton hang on to the ball, but he also bounced right back up and returned to the huddle. The first thought that came to mind was 'Man, this guy is going to be trouble to deal with.'
The Redskins are 0-4 against the Panthers since they made Newton the first overall pick of the 2011 draft. It’s not a coincidence. Newton has been sharp against Washington, completing 62 percent of his passes (his career average is 58.8 percent) for 251 yards per game with nine touchdowns, no interceptions, and a passer rating of 115.4, about 20 points higher than his career rating. He also has averaged 28 rushing yards per game with two rushing touchdowns.
Carolina is 3-1 on the season. Putting those four games under a microscope, you see some of the oddities that you see when looking at the results of most NFL teams at this point in the season. They are the only team who has lost to the 1-4 Falcons, and they are the only team to whom the 4-1 Bengals have lost. Last Sunday, the Panthers blew a fourth-quarter, double-digit lead at home against the Giants, needing a 63-yard Graham Gano field goal at the end to pull out the win.
The win over the Giants prevented this from being a game between a pair of 2-2 teams. The difference between the teams is that the Panthers have an identity, with Newton and RB Christian McCaffrey on offense and LB Luke Kuechly and DT Kawann Short on defense, while the Redskins are still searching for their brand. The Washington defensive line has the makings of becoming the core of their identity, but it’s too early to make any kind of a firm declaration there.
Trending on social
I'm not sure where McPhee thought he was going to go if he scooped up this ball. He has to dive on it. https://t.co/MxGBpPjGrv— Rich Tandler (@TandlerNBCS) October 10, 2018
Today: Jay Gruden and Alex Smith press conferences, open locker room 4:45
Upcoming: Panthers @ Redskins 4 days; Cowboys @ Redskins 11; Redskins @ Giants 18
MORE REDSKINS NEWS: