Sunday, November 24, 2013

Week 12 picks: Panthers at Dolphins

Publisher Nick St. Denis, associate editor Dan Begnoche and senior contributor Sean Donovan pick the cross-conference showdown between the Miami Dolphins and Carolina Panthers.

Sean's take:
Coming off a thrilling win over the New England Patriots, the surging Panthers will look to avoid a letdown on the road against the up-and-down Dolphins. Miami certainly has the talent to line up against a strong Carolina roster, but the lack of adaptability and creative gameplanning that has hampered the Dolphins all season will again put the Dolphins at a disadvantage in this one. A failure to limit Panthers quarterback Cam Newton's running ability or develop offensive consistency against one of the NFL's elite defenses drops Miami back below the .500 mark.
Prediction: Panthers 28, Dolphins 17

Nick's take:
Carolina has an attacking defensive front, which normally would spell doom for the Dolphins' depleted offensive line. However, the Panthers' sack leader in Charles Johnson is likely a no-go, giving Miami's edge blockers a much-needed break. That aside, running the ball will still be a challenge, and on the other side of the ball, the Panthers have come alive with a healthy tailback corps of their own. A productive day from Jonathan Stewart and DeAngelo Williams opens things up for Newton, and the Panthers pull away in the second half.
Prediction: Panthers 27, Dolphins 17

Dan's take: Despite the controversy surrounding the offensive line, Miami has still been able to do enough to stay in playoff contention. Their trouble this week will be stifling an electric defense that's allowed less than 13 points a game, led by second-year linebacker and Pro Bowl candidate Luke Kuechly. Carolina's dual-threat quarterback that hasn't made many mistakes of late, and looks for Newton and the team's versatile offense to lean on a Kuechly-led squad for some opportune field position and turnovers. The Panthers' offense continues to stick to it's bread-and-butter run game against an ailing front, which has dropped to 24th overall after being a top-tier front early on.
Prediction: Panthers 32, Dolphins 17