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Patriots vs. Panthers Preview

One big story and more as we get into a Patriots vs. Panthers Preview for week 9.

Steph Gilmore gets his revenge game against the Patriots. If they hadn’t already played Tom Brady this season then this may be a bigger deal, but nobody quite lives up to a Tom Brady rematch.

The Patriots Defense…

The Panthers defense has been a problem for teams for a majority of the season, even without Stephon Gilmore. They have slowly started to fall apart and give up more points as the season has gone on. That doesn’t mean this defense doesn’t have plenty of talent to stop this offense. The Pats will need to do what’s done best and use the run game to open up the play action. That is a situation Mac Jones thrives in, and so has Damien Harris. Harris has been the engine that keeps this offense running, and should stay on track for a 1000 yard season. We are still waiting for a potential Rhamondre Stevenson breakout week, could this be the week?

Patriots' Hunter Henry predicts Jonnu Smith 'break out' game coming soon - masslive.com

The Offense vs. Panthers D

This Panthers secondary is loaded with talent. They added Gilmore to Donte Jackson and A.J. Bouye, not to mention their stud young safety Jeremy Chinn. It’s going to be a hard time for this Patriots receiving corp to get open. Jakobi Meyers even said it is going to be a tough battle for them this week. He may be the key to moving the chains downfield in this game. Bourne and Agholor are going to have their work cut out for them if they are matched up with Jackson and Gilmore. This could be a big game for the tight ends and Jakobi to make things happen. Brandon Bolden has been very effective catching passes out of the backfield so far as well, and may prove to be a big help to mitigate the tough coverage downfield.

What the ESPN FPI Says About the Panthers' Chances vs the Patriots - Sports Illustrated Carolina Panthers News, Analysis and More

Potential Issues For the Patriots?

When the Panthers have the ball will be how the Patriots win this game. Sam Darnold has already seen ghosts against them once, and he has crashed down to earth over the last few weeks. Christian McCaffery could make his return this game, but there is a good chance he could be on a snap count. The biggest issue could be if JC Jackson is not able to play. DJ Moore will most likely be the biggest threat to to the Patriots, and JC Jackson is the best way to mitigate that threat. Jonathan Jones is now on IR, and Jalen Mills is burnt toast on a regular basis. This is a game that can be easily won, but the defense just needs to make sure they don’t make mistakes.

Patriots will look to run the ball with Harris vs. Panthers South & Southeast News - Bally Sports

This is a perfect game for the Pats to continue their winning streak. The Panthers have been moving in the wrong direction, and they can’t let up and fall to a trap this game. 27-17 Pats.

-Jake Kobierski (@TheRealKobe83 On Twitter)

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