Schuyler Callihan: Carolina 20, Washington 17
All season long and all week long I've had the Panthers losing to the Football Team. But for some weird reason, my gut is telling me that Carolina finds a way to pull this one out in what will likely be their final win of the season.
These two teams are similar in record, but Washington has the advantage of playing in the lowly NFC East. Washington has a very talented defense, but Carolina has a little more firepower offensively. Not to mention, Alex Smith is likely to be playing at anything but 100%. I'll take the Panthers in a tight one, but I'm not confident in it.
Jason Hewitt: Washington 21, Carolina 17
There should be quite a few lead changes in this game, but I have the Washington Football Team winning in a sloppy 21-17 victory. Both defenses have seemingly been playing well as of late, while both offenses have been relatively pedestrian. There’s something else worth noting here: Ron Rivera is going to want to make a statement against his former team. I’m expecting to see the best version of Washington during this game, which could mean trouble for Carolina.
Josh Altorfer: Washington 24, Carolina 20
A lot of key pieces will not be in action for Carolina in this game. It should be a fun, competitive game to watch as the Panthers take on Ron Rivera for the first time. It will likely come down to which team makes fewer mistakes and can convert on third downs. I’m more confident in Alex Smith and the Washington offense than Teddy Bridgewater and company at this point.
Bill Riccette: Washington 24, Carolina 16
This is pretty dependent on Washington’s quarterback situation, but the thought is that Alex Smith will play. If he does, Washington gets a boost offensively, even if Terry McLaurin doesn’t play. Carolina now likely has to overcome no Christian McCaffrey and Brian Burns, who should both be shut down anyway. Ron Rivera probably clinches the division here against his former team with the Giants likely losing to the Ravens before Washington kicks off.
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