As we do each week, here's our weekly Q&A with the Redskins' opponent. This week, Jaxon, from the 5-star SB Nation site, Cat Scratch Reader, gives some great insight on what to expect from their OLine, how Cam fares against the blitz, and how to best exploit the Cats' defense:
1.) For those of us that haven't watched a lot of Cam Newton (besides highlights), at this point, what are his strengths and weaknesses? Specifically, how does he do vs the blitz, etc?
CSR: Cam has done well versus the blitz, often pulling the ball down and running. He does over throw a few balls and can miss his target a few times as well. But other times he has looked great. He's better at the deep ball and short passes but tends to sail the intermediate cross routes. He has not had issues going through his reads or working under center like many predicted.
2.) What's the state of the OLine looking like with Jeff Otah out for the year? Byron Bell has seen some action and you have Reggie Wells. What's your prediction for Orakpo over LT and Kerrigan over RT?
Losing Otah hurts but we've gotten used to doing without his presence anyway. The coaches are very high on Bell but he did get 3 penalties last week (2 FS and a holding call was declined). He did give up a sack as well but the Panthers will have some help for him at times. So given Jordan Gross is on the other side Kerrigan should have the better opportunity. We had Wells in for camp but he's just a body at this point I think.
3.) What parts of your defensive are the weak link? (corners, LBs, line)? The Redskins love their screens, slants, and misdirection plays.
We are young up the middle a tDT (start 2 rooks) and our LB's have had a hard time stopping the stretch plays to the edge is the biggest thing. I expect the Redskins to run a ton to keep the pressure off of Beck. Screens and slants have worked pretty well for us so you should keep that up. Secondary is pretty good but missed tackles have killed us too.
4.) Do you expect the Panthers to rush or pass the ball more? What kind of offense can we expect from them?
The Panthers are trying to stay balanced but in the end because of getting behind early they have had to throw a lot more. I'm sure they would love to run it more or toss it to the RBs in the flat. Also, the TE's have played a big part as both Shockey and Olsen seem to get numerous targets each. I'll also keep an eye on Steve Smith and his expected match-up with his BFF (sarcasm) DeAngelo Hall. The Panthers haven't gone deep as much the last couple weeks so I'm opeful they try it a little more this week.
5.) What's your prediction for the game and why?
Well I never pick a Panther loss and given the 'Skins are starting John Beck I'm hopeful we can notch our second win. The key is for Newton to not give up the untimely INT like he has the last two weeks. If that happens I'm saying Panthers 23 - 'Skins 16.
Screens, scrants, seams. I think Logan Paulsen could be our surprise weapon this week. Certainly, Helu should be. Anyone else think the Panthers paw in the logo looks really weird?