Sep 28, 2014; Baltimore, MD, USA; Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (1) huddles with teammates during the game against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports
Welcome to Week 5 – Bears vs Panthers! The Bears are about to embark on a two-game, grudge match road trip through the NFC South. Why do I say a grudge match? Because the Bears will face off with a few guys in their next two games who may have felt slighted or parted ways with the Bears on less than the best of terms. We may see a couple of them in our Matchups…
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The Bears enter a critical stretch through the second quarter of the season, finishing the first quarter 0-2 and three of their next four on the road. Let’s look at some interesting matchups that will determine the outcome of the game:
5. Cam Newton vs Jared Allen
Sep 14, 2014; Santa Clara, CA, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick (7) escapes the grasp of Chicago Bears defensive end Jared Allen (69) in the second half at Levis Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Lance Iversen-USA TODAY Sports
The Panthers offense will rely heavily on Cam Newton since their running backs are all broken. Cam has been off to a so-so start this season. He’s got a solid passer rating and has thrown 3 TD’s and hasn’t turned the ball over in the three games he’s played. Cam used to be a big-time runner, but he’s only rushed 8 times for 33 yards, which should benefit Jared Allen.
Allen is back at practice after dropping about 15 pounds from a bout of pneumonia. Allen has been off to a really slow start in his stint with the Bears. The Bears pass rush this season has been mostly a rumor, but against a depleted Carolina offensive line, they need to step up their game, led by Allen.