Monday Night Football will feature a Washington Redskins outfit fired up for revenge when hosting Carolina Panthers at FedExField.
Just over a year ago, the Redskins were crushed 44-16 by a red-hot Panthers side which went all the way to the Super Bowl, but things have changed a lot since then. Cam Newton and Co claimed a welcome 28-16 win over San Diego last week, but that was a rare ray of sunshine in a pretty dreary campaign which has seen the visitors slip to a 5-8 record.
A major factor in that fall from grace has been Carolina’s form on the road, losing five of their six away fixtures, with the sole victory coming in a tight affair against the struggling LA Rams. Even more worrying is that the Panthers have conceded an average of 37 points per game when beaten on their travels!
With Newton nursing a sore shoulder and top wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin restricted by a back problem, the omens aren’t exactly good on the offence side of things either.
The progressive Redskins, meanwhile, are coming off a 27-22 success at Philadelphia and have also prevailed in their last four home matches. Quarterback Kirk Cousins had a nightmare when taking on Carolina last season, but this term has looked a much more reliable prospect, throwing for 23 touchdowns and just nine interceptions.
With Washington still play-off contenders at 7-5-1, he said: “You just hope that as a football team you’re a little more mature and you protect the ball better and can avoid those turnovers.”
Opposing head coach Ron Rivera is also a fan, adding: “The young man has gotten better and better. He’s got a tremendous amount of confidence. I see him making good decisions. He’s a very headsy guy.”
Solid contributions from wide receivers Jamison Crowder, Pierre Garcon, DeSean Jackson and Jordan Reed, plus athletic tight end Vernon Davis, gives Cousins plenty to aim at behind an in-form offensive line. That could lead to another long night for the Carolina defence and the Redskins to oblige by at least a touchdown looks the way to go.