(0-0, 0-0 ATS)
(0-0, 0-0 ATS)
The Panthers are one of the many teams that aren’t so sure who their starting quarterback is going to be heading into the regular season, which could create a heck of a lot drama and hard play from all involved in the preseason. Incumbent Matt Moore led the team to respectability in the regular season last year, but that was mostly thanks to the fact that he had a fantastic running game to rely on. Don’t be shocked to see rookies Tony Pike and Jimmy Clausen both get extensive time under center to try to prove their value to HC John Fox. Mike Goodson had a fantastic preseason last year, and he and Tyrell Sutton will be called on for a good chunk of the rushing duties once DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart have gotten their work in. The defense is going to be faced with the task of replacing DE Julius Peppers, so expect to see plenty of work for Charles Johnson, Tyler Brayton, and Everette Brown, as the three fight it out for the two starting jobs.
There aren’t many position battles looming in Baltimore, but without a doubt, this team is deep enough to be one of the best in the league. The Ravens should have fantastic quarterback play all preseason long, as Joe Flacco, Marc Bulger, and Troy Smith all have plenty of experience and have looked strong at times. There are plenty of rushing options for this team as well, but HC John Harbaugh already knows what he has with Ray Rice, Willis McGahee, and Le’Ron McClain. Look for the action at tight end and at reserve receiver to be tight, as Dennis Pitta, Ed Dickson, Donte Stallworth, and Mark Clayton are all vying for playing time. The defense will have two huge new assets in LB Sergio Kindle and Terrence Cody. Lardarius Webb, Fabian Washington, and Travis Fisher will get huge looks at defensive back, as they are all trying to replace DB Dominique Foxworth, who was lost for the season due to an ACL tear.
Both of these teams are going to play inspired football to start the regular season, which could yield a higher scoring affair, especially under the bright lights of an ESPN broadcast. This is a relatively high ‘total’ for a preseason game, particularly in the first week, but both teams should be able to at least reach the high teens as both have enough offensive potency to put seven points on the board on every drive.
Selection: Carolina Panthers/Baltimore Ravens Over 34