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CHARLOTTE, NC - JANUARY 10: The defense of the Carolina Panthers line up against the offense of the Arizona Cardinals during the NFC Divisional Playoff Game on January 10, 2009 at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

The 0-2 Panthers head to Arizona to face the 0-1-1 Cardinals in what is a must-win for Carolina. With Cam officially being ruled out, can they win with Kyle Allen?

Kyle vs Kyler

One is a #1 overall pick and the other went undrafted but they both started at the same university: Texas A&M. Kyle Allen actually beat out Kyler Murray at A&M. They platooned at the QB position most of the year leading to an 8-5 record. Both transferred: Murray to Oklahoma and Allen to Houston and both had completely different results.

Through his first two career starts, Murray has been airing it out early and often, it’s what we expected with Kliff Kingsbury’s “Air Raid” offense but he’s exceeding expectations with his passing. Only the 2nd player to ever throw for at least 300 yds in his first two starts, Murray is going to be a problem for the secondary.

While he’s only about 5’10 (and that’s being generous) you can’t forget to account for his ability to run. Murray threw for 4,300 yds and ran for another 1,000 last year in his Heisman campaign. It’ll be interesting to see how the Panthers game plan for this electric QB.

The Panthers offense shouldn’t change too much even with Allen starting in place of Newton. Look for them to set up the passing game by establishing the run with CMC. I expect Kyle Allen to fully utilize his safety valves in McCaffery and Olsen. Allen has all of the tools to succeed on offense provided the O-Line shows up to block this week.

 

Defensive Gameplan Against Murray

Every young QB (with the exception of Pat Mahomes) has the tendency to force something instead of living to play another down. The Panthers need to create pressure and turnovers to win this game, two things they haven’t done well to start the year (Only 4 sacks and 1 turnover forced.) Luckily, the Cardinals O-line hasn’t been great this year so the Panthers should be able to rack up at least 4 sacks.

It’s time to unleash this 3-4 defense that we’ve heard so much about because all of the 4-3 looks don’t seem to be working. Blitzing early and often will be the key to knocking Murray off his spot and give the Panthers a shot to win this game.

 

Prediction:

It should be a shoot out between two former teammates but if the Panthers can’t block upfront, it doesn’t matter who starts at QB. I’m looking for a Panthers team to respond after an extremely disappointing 0-2 start.

Panthers: 24

Cardinals: 20

 

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