It’s never just another game on Monday night. This is when the stars show up to shine, and it is exactly what it was, a chance for Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton to put a positive spin on his no-show season.
A year after being voted Most Valuable Player, Newton has been one of the NFL’s biggest busts. A year after starting 14-0, the Panthers (5-8) are still fighting a Super Bowl hangover and hoping to finish. Cam Newton and the Panthers stuck it to Josh Norman and Washington, helping the Buccaneers and Packers improve their playoff chances.
Newton has completed only 53.5 percent of his passes and ranks 26th in the league in with a passer rating of 78.9. He has 15 touchdown passes, a year after he passed for 35 touchdowns.
Carolina’s 26-15 victory at Washington on Monday night knocked Washington out of the NFC’s second wild-card position and kept the Panthers in the race mathematically. Panthers need to win out and have 10 games go their way, including another tie for Washington.
Most bettors did not bit on the Panthers being live ‘dogs on “Monday Night Football.” Washington was a 6½- to 7-point home favorite over Carolina, after the line opened at 4½.
Washington gained control of their playoff hopes when rival Dallas beat Tampa Bay on Sunday night, but they gave it right back. The loss dropped Washington into eighth place in the conference behind the Bucs and Green Bay.
On Sunday, Tom Brady and the Patriots clinched another division title and helped the Dolphins jump into a postseason position while Oakland snapped a 13-year playoff drought.
Washington (7-5-1) desperately seeks the win to stay in postseason contention. Oddsmakers anticipated a shootout by setting a total of 51. The Redskins, who have allowed 20 points or more in eight straight games, are 11-2 over the total. Kirk Cousins leads their high-powered passing offense.
Washington snapped a seven-game losing streak in prime-time home games with their 42-24 win over the Packers on Nov. 20, but that was a Sunday night. With a chance to win consecutive prime-time games for the first time since December 2012, the Redskins instead fell to 2-16 in “Monday Night Football” games at home since FedEx Field opened in 1997. Washington has been outscored 532-291 in those games, which translates to an average loss of 29-16.
Back to Monday Night, and in summary, the Panthers played harder Monday night. They played tougher. And if you’re the Redskins, how in the world do you allow that to happen considering the stakes?
Fairness probably demands a reminder here that the Panthers are the defending NFC champions, with the reigning MVP in Newton at quarterback. They played Monday more like the team we saw for much of 2015 and less like the 5–8 outfit they were before pulling off the upset of Washington. Get in the excitement of this game, follow the panthers, sign up at heritagepsorts.eu and find the best betting odds.