Bears vs Panthers: Top 5 Matchups to Watch
Sep 14, 2014; Charlotte, NC, USA; Carolina Panthers wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin (13) isn
1. Kyle Fuller vs Kelvin Benjamin
It’s rare to see a couple of rookies headlining the top matchups, but these aren’t just any rookies. This is a matchup of Rookies of the Month with Offensive Rookie of the Month Kelvin Benjamin going against defensive rookie of the Month Kyle Fuller. Both of these kids are having huge impacts on their respective teams.
The Panthers drew a lot of ire when they gutted their receiving corps, notably Steve Smith Sr. (He torched them last week as a member of the Ravens, but I digress). Benjamin is the real deal. He’s a monster of a wide receiver who’s still really raw but has all the tools to be a beast. He’s already racked up 21 catches for 329 yards in just his first 4 games.
Sep 22, 2014; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Chicago Bears cornerback Kyle Fuller (23) intercepts a pass intended for New York Jets wide receiver David Nelson (86) in the end zone during the third quarter at MetLife Stadium. Chicago Bears won 27-19. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports
Meanwhile Fuller stormed onto the scene under the lights in San Francisco, subbing for an injured Peanut Tillman, recording a pair of interceptions in the Bears upset win. He added to that with a pick and a pair of forced fumbles the next week on Monday Night Football against the Jets. He’s a fearless corner who is great in coverage and a willing tackler in run support. He had a “welcome to the NFL” game against Aaron Rodgers and Jordy Nelson of the Packers last week, so he’ll be looking to bounce back against a fellow rookie receiver. The Panthers have no running game to speak of, so if they want to beat the Bears, they’ll need to try to win this matchup.
What do you think? Which matchup are you looking forward to most? Which will have the biggest impact on the outcome on Sunday?