|2009 Redskins at Panthers Point Spread Odds & Matchup Report|
|Written by Anthony Rome|
|Wednesday, 07 October 2009 11:06|
Charlotte, NC - All of the Washington Redskins' victories this season have come against winless teams.
They would like that trend to continue.
Washington goes for its second straight victory Sunday afternoon when it faces the Carolina Panthers, who return home following a much-needed bye week.
Oddsmakers from online sports book SBGGLOABL.com have made the Panthers -3.5 point spread favorites (View NFL odds) for Sunday’s game (Game Matchup). Current public betting information shows that 80% of bets for this game have been placed on the Panthers -3.5 (View NFL bet percentages).
After a 9-7 victory over lowly St. Louis and a 19-14 loss at Detroit the previous two weeks, the Redskins (2-2) defeated Tampa Bay 16-13 last Sunday.
Washington's next two games are versus Carolina and Kansas City, which are currently a combined 0-7.
"We know what our schedule looks like and what games we need to win right now," Redskins safety Reed Doughty said. "And having some of these games where people are a little bit down on their confidence, we need to take advantage of that."
Washington also needs to take care of an offense that is averaging 14.0 points, 27th in the NFL.
On Tuesday, the Redskins hired 67-year-old Sherman Lewis as an offensive consultant for coach Jim Zorn. Lewis was last in the NFL in 2004 when he was offensive coordinator for the Lions.
"Nothing changes," said Redskins executive vice president for football operations Vinny Cerrato. "Jim's still calling plays. Everybody's still doing what they're doing. It's just another fresh set of eyes."
The team says Lewis' hiring is not a threat to Zorn's job, but even the Redskins coach knows his team's offense needs to improve. Washington hasn't scored 30 points in a game since Zorn was hired prior to last season.
"We must get better offensively, all-around," he said.
That improvement begins with quarterback Jason Campbell, who completed 12 of 22 for 170 yards and a career-high three interceptions last Sunday.
The Redskins erased a 10-0 halftime deficit with 16 unanswered points in the third quarter, including Campbell's 11-yard touchdown pass to Chris Cooley and a 59-yard TD to Santana Moss.
"At halftime, I was like, if we don't pull this one out, I don't know what I'm going to do on Monday," Campbell said. "I might as well hibernate."
In the teams' last matchup, Campbell threw a 66-yard TD to Cooley with 1:25 left and the Redskins defeated Carolina 17-13 on Nov. 26, 2006.
Washington improved to 7-1 all-time against the Panthers despite Clinton Portis missing the game due to a broken bone in his right hand. He rushed for 98 yards on 25 carries last week but has not reached the 100-yard plateau in his last nine games.
He'll face a Carolina team with the league's worst run defense, allowing 182.7 yards per game.
All of the Panthers' opponents this season have rushed for at least 151 yards, with Dallas running for 212 in a 21-7 victory over Carolina (0-3) on Sept. 28.
"That is unacceptable," Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis said. "We feel like we want to be an elite defense in this league. And we can't go out on any given night and give up 200 yards rushing to anybody."
Carolina signed veteran defensive tackle Hollis Thomas last Thursday to bolster a defense giving up 29.0 points per contest.
"He's got a lot of experience. I think right now we're young there," coach John Fox said. "He's played the game at this level for some time. A lot of this is how to play. I think he'll help us immensely in that area."
Fox also hopes the bye week following the Dallas loss will help the defending NFC South champions recover from their worst start since opening 0-7 in 1998.
"The reality is we're 0-3, and we haven't fixed it yet," Fox said. "Luckily, this bye comes at an ideal time, in my estimation. I didn't feel that six months ago, but I feel it now. New, right or indifferent, we're just not executing as well as we need to."
Jake Delhomme is at the center of that problem, with two touchdowns and a league-worst seven interceptions for an offense averaging 12.3 points - 29th in the NFL.
"Certainly we haven't put up the points that we would have liked to have put up," Delhomme said. "But we're a work in progress and we're trying to get there."
Carolina also needs its running game to improve. The Panthers were third in the league last season with 152.3 yards per game but are averaging 101.0 in 2009.
DeAngelo Williams, third in the NFL last season with 1,515 rushing yards, has 180 on 41 carries this season. Jonathan Stewart has rushed for 99 yards in 2009 after piling up 836 as a rookie last season.
"We're just not playing the way our philosophy is - to run the ball," tackle Jordan Gross said. "The time of possession is ridiculous, I'm sure, and we get turnovers and some protection issues. That's not what we did to win last year."
Posted: 10/7/09 4:05PM ET