Ok, I've begged, pleaded, bargained, overbooked and overpromised myself some time away to post the open thread - and to watch the game tomorrow.
Here's my quick and dirty breakdown for tomorrow's game. (Again, apologies for leaving high and dry, but it's the first vacation my wife and i have had for the three years that we've been married.)
On offense, Carolina, behind the improved play from a slimmed down and not traded Kris Jenkins, will be looking to shut down Steven Jackson. My hope is that the Rams come out of the gate firing away. Put the pressure on the CAR backfield, which is arguably the weakest spot of their defense, as they look to attack Bulger with Peppers the field will have opened up after some successful passes and Jackson can run away with it. We have a lot of offensive weapons and what we're told is an exciting playbook that we didn't get to see in preseason games. Use all the arrows in the quiver before leaning on the big one too soon.
Eventhough the Rams lost last season to the Panthers, they we're able to keep Peppers without a sack. The O-line's gonna have it's hands full, but I think they'll be up to it, even without Incognito.
On defesne, the new look line will be the focus of the Panthers eary. Recall that thy're implementing a new blocking scheme, one they've struggled with in the preseason, so that should really work to our favor. It may be necessary to go ahead and conceed some to the Delhomme/Smith passing connection, but keeping the damage in check will be key for the secondary that's created some concerns as Brown serves his suspension.
Ok, I've got to run. Be sure to visit Cat Scratch Reader for the view from the Panthers' side of things.