The Carolina Panthers will be hoping to halt a four-game losing streak when they visit the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium on Sunday afternoon. Carolina has plunged to 6-6 following consecutive setbacks against Pittsburgh, Detroit, Seattle, and Tampa Bay. The Browns are a respectable 4-7-1 but saw a two-game winning streak come to an end at Houston’s hands this past weekend.
Once 6-2, the Panthers now find themselves totally out of the NFC South race and in serious jeopardy of not even bagging a wild-card spot in the playoffs. Their woes continued with last week’s 24-17 road loss to the Buccaneers. Quarterback Cam Newton was picked off a horrendous four times, completing 28 of 41 passes for 300 yards and two touchdowns in the process. He was pulled in favor of backup Taylor Heinicke for a Hail Mary’ attempt on the final play, mainly because Newton’s throwing shoulder is ailing and his ability to get the ball to the endzone from near midfield was in doubt.
“At the end of the day, I just know I’m healthy enough to play,” Newton assured. “I’m not going to let nothing hold me back from being able to help my team. I definitely don’t want to be a liability. I just want to make sure that I’m putting myself and this team in the best position to win football games.”
On the bright side for the Panthers, they likely would have defeated Tampa Bay if not for the careless turnovers. The visitors gained 444 total yards to the Buccaneers’ 315. Tampa Bay finished with a mere 95 rushing yards