Panthers will have to do something they haven’t done in team history this Sunday.
That’s Win on the road against the New York Jets. Carolina Panthers are 3-3 all time versus Jets but are 0-2 on the road. For a team that’s 7-3 going up against the 4-6 J-E-T-S they do have the team’s DNA behind them as a team that raises the level of their game in the latter portion of the season.
“We’ve done well in November and December typically,” head coach Ron Rivera said during a press conference ahead of the game. “This is the time of year you start to see separation of the teams that have a chance to go forward and those that don’t.”
Despite a 7-3 start the squad is second place in their division trailing the New Orleans Saints who post an 8-2 record. With a grudge match with the Saints ahead in the schedule if Panthers win out they’ll win the NFC South.
“We do control our own destiny based on who we play,” Rivera said.
Understanding how things can change in the NFL in a hurry is something offensive coordinator Mike Shula preaches to the team, according to Cam Newton.
“As Coach Shula always says, give the NFL two weeks and everything will change. Cards will get shuffled again,” Newton said during Wednesday’s press conference.
With Greg Olsen taken off injured reserve he’s set to play for the first time this season since week 2. Coming off an NFC Player of the Week performance from Newton will only help the offense, Newton said.
“He brings a calming presence,” Newton said of Olsen. “Greg is just a pro’s pro…with the addition of him we’re bound to be even better.”
With that said, Newton is taking it up to himself whether or not Olsen lights up the stat sheet.
“Its gone be on us to go out there and do exactly what we’ve been doing in the past couple of weeks,” Newton said. “Greg obviously brings an explosive attack to our game that’s very methodical and very efficient but its going to be on me to decipher who gets the ball and go where the defense dictates.”
Going forward Rivera wants to continue to see progress with the running game calling that the most important element of this team. The past two games they’ve won with their rushing attack cracking the 200 yards mark.
In order to get their first road win in team history against the Jets the offense must play with emotion against an enthusiastic defense and start fast, Newton said. Coming out with a win will take a whole team effort.
“All hands will be on deck to try to get a much needed win on Sunday,” Newton said.
By Gino Terrell