This week the Raiders are looking to secure the club’s first winning season in 14 years. To do it, they will face the team that represented the NFC in the Super Bowl last February.
This team is looking like a shell of its former 15-1 self this season. Gone They started the season 1-5 before turning things around over the past month, going 3-1 since their bye week.
Keeping up their rebounding play is going to be tough. They were already without All Pro cornerback Josh Norman from whom they removed the franchise tag and allowed to leave for Washington.
Exacerbating things as of this week they are also without All Pro middle linebacker Luke Kuechly, All Pro center Ryan Kalil, and sack leader Mario Addison. Replacing them will be AJ Klein, Gino Gradkowski, and Kony Ealy respectively.
The team also put left tackle Michael Oher on injured reserve which had had Mike Remmers moving from right tackle to left and Daryl Williams coming in at right tackle.
That banged up patchwork offensive line will try to protect 2015 MVP Cam Newton — who has already been sacked 25 times this season -- from the likes of Khalil Mack and Bruce Irvin.
While the Raiders have the NFL’s fewest sacks (15), Mack has recorded at least one sack in five consecutive games for a total of 7.0 of his 8.0 sacks over that time.
Newton is still a threat all his own. He has tremendous arm strength and speed. If the Raiders can’t contain him, he can make them pay dearly by extending plays and scrambling for big yardage.
He has three very good receivers in tight end Greg Olsen, and wideouts Kelvin Benjamin and Devin Funchess. Best not to forget the speed factor Ted Ginn Jr presents.
That group will give the Raiders defensive backs all they can handle. The All Pro Olsen is arguably the biggest threat of all, especially for the Raiders who have difficulty covering even average tight ends.
Location: Oakland Alameda County Coliseum, Oakland CA
Game time: Sunday, November 27, 1:25pm Pacific (4:25 pm ET)
TV channel: CBS (Do I get the game?)
Online streaming: NFL Game Pass (Live audio, replay after it's over)
Radio: 95.7 The Game, 98.5 KFOX (Greg Papa, Tom Flores) | Full listings
Odds: Raiders are 3-point favorites
Match-up history: Panthers lead series 3-2 (all time), 1-1 in Oakland
Announcers: Jim Nantz, Phil Simms
Enemy blog: Cat Scratch Reader
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