Monday, November 18, 2013

Week 11 picks: Patriots at Panthers

Publisher Nick St. Denis and senior contributor Sean Donovan pick the Monday night cross-conference bout between the New England Patriots and the Carolina Panthers.

Sean's take:
Usually, when Bill Belichick has two weeks to prepare for an opponent, his team wins. The Patriots have lost just once coming off their bye since 2002, but they'll need to beat a very strong Carolina team to do it this season. Panthers dual-threat quarterback Cam Newton gets a lot of the attention, but the main reason for team's success in 2013 is its top-ranked scoring defense. It'll be a tough test for New England, but a solid gameplan brings the team to 8-2.
Prediction: Patriots 27, Panthers 17

Nick's take:
Tom Brady has won 13 of his 17 career appearances on Monday night, and this Monday should up that tally. The Patriots get back Aqib Talib in the defensive backfield and Shane Vereen in the offensive backfield, and both players could make an impact in this one -- Talib to help neutralize the Panthers' vertical game and Vereen to help soften up a very stout defense by getting the ball outside the tackles.
Prediction: Patriots 24, Panthers 20