Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Panthers at Jets

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Panthers at Jets

Article excerpt

At MetLife Stadium

Sunday, 1 p.m.

TV: FOX

Line: Panthers by 5.5

Jets: Coach Todd Bowles made it clear on Friday that he believes the Jets (4-6) must win out to make the playoffs. That may or may not be true, but the Jets can get right back into the playoff conversation by pulling off the upset against the Panthers. A win would bring them to 5-6 and keep them just a game out of the playoffs. A loss would be their fifth setback in six games. This game is going to tell us a lot about who the Jets are. They have a lot to play for after an embarrassing performance and loss in Tampa.

If the Jets come out and give the Panthers their best shot, there's a good chance they'll be competitive for the rest of the season. But if they get crushed by the Panthers, it sure begins to look like things could get ugly for this Jets team.

Panthers: Coach Ron Rivera has preached that the Panthers (7-3) can't take the Jets lightly with a pivotal showdown looming against New Orleans next week. And he's right.

The Jets play everyone hard and close — they haven't lost by more than a touchdown since Week 2.

And this is a huge game for a Carolina team trying to keep pace with the Saints, who have a one-game lead in the NFC South. Carolina fancies itself a Super Bowl contender.

The Panthers are clearly the better team. This is the kind of game they have to win. It's also an important game from a chemistry standpoint. The Panthers are clearly playoff bound and they're getting Wayne native Greg Olsen back into the mix this week. Rivera said that he'll use Olsen "judiciously" in his first game since Week 2. Still, expect Cam Newton to look for Olsen frequently as they try to reestablish their chemistry.

Carolina QB Cam Newton vs. the entire Jets' defense: With his mix of size, speed, agility and arm strength, Newton presents challenges that no other quarterbacks can. He's a pure pocket passer who is also the best running quarterback in the league. It will be on the Jets' outside linebackers and defensive ends to set the edge and try and contain Newton's running prowess and put pressure on him. …

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