The Patriots needed Tom Brady to work his magic to avoid being upset by a two-touchdown underdog at home in Week 3. On Sunday, they’ll upgrade from playing a rookie quarterback to a former MVP when the Carolina Panthers come to town. Their Week 4 showdown kicks off at 1 p.m. ET and will be broadcast live on CBS (live stream).
Brady led New England 75 yards in 2:01 to seal a comeback victory over the Texans that raised more questions than it answered. Houston, a team that had scored 20 total points in its first two games, found a way to hang 33 on the Super Bowl favorites on the road. The Panthers haven’t been much better — they only mustered nine points against the Bills two weeks ago — but could hit their stride in Foxborough.
Time, TV channel, and streaming info
- Time: 1 p.m. ET
- Location: Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, Mass.
- TV: FOX
- Streaming: NFL Game Pass
- Odds: New England is favored by 8.5 points.
Panthers at Patriots news:
- Kelvin Benjamin left last week’s game with a knee injury, but it appears to be a minor tweak.
The trip to the locker room was quick, and Benjamin was on the sideline soon after trying to loosen up his knee. But when the Panthers began the next drive, Benjamin was on the sideline with ice on his knee.
The good news for the Panthers is that the injury appears to be minor. According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, there was no significant damage and Benjamin was described as “fine.”
- Why haven’t the Patriots lived up to the hype in 2017? Here are three reasons:
Although Brady and the Patriots offense — even while his receivers have struggled to stay healthy — have found a way to win, a struggling defense and a low-efficiency running game have sunk the team’s ability to crush opponents down in the second half.
- The Patriots won’t be charging $4.50 for tap water again this week:
Ouch. That’s a really bad look. Tap water for $4.50?! Fans were really just paying for the cup, which is ridiculous when you think of how much the up-charge is. The onus is on the stadium to ensure they forecast the proper inventory and they should have had to eat whatever additional cost occurred from their miscalculation, or else they should have known there would be negative backlash.
- How did the Panthers get smoked by the Saints? It wasn’t pretty.
The coaching staff has been bad as well, but it’s hard to determine just how much blame to pin on them. Mike Shula’s game plans are vanilla and predictable, but what is he supposed to do with the lack of talent across the offense? The offensive line is bad. Cam’s been bad. The wide receiver corps is one of the least talented from top to bottom in the entire NFL
- Yeah, Tom Brady is the best quarterback in the NFL again.
Brady ranks atop the league rankings in pretty much every category of import when looking at his games against the New Orleans Saints (a bad defense) and the Houston Texans (a great defense).
- Rookie Deatrich Wise Jr. is already paying dividends in the Patriots pass rush.
With one glove, Wise ripped the 38-year-old New Orleans Saints quarterback down by the shoulder pads for a drive-killing loss of eight yards. And in the process, the 23-year-old New England Patriots defensive end became just the second player in the Bill Belichick era to notch a sack in both Week 1 and Week 2 of his respective rookie season.
Can the Patriot defense stop Cam Newton?
Newton is slumping again in 2017, but a game against the Patriots defense could be just what he needs. New England has given up more than 300 passing yards to all three of its opponents this season. What’s worse — the Pats struggled against a mobile quarterback in Deshaun Watson last Sunday. The rookie extended plays in the pocket with his legs and scrambled for 41 yards in the Texans’ Week 3 upset bid. If he can do that, Newton should be able to be even more dangerous.
Panthers at Patriots prediction:
In a resounding rout, all eight of our NFL experts took the Patriots to win, as did OddsShark’s computer.