The Oakland Raiders (8-2) will return home after a successful trip to Mexico to take on the Carolina Panthers (4-6), and despite the disparity in their records, this affair should look the part of a playoff clash.
Gorilla Rilla and Darth Raider will have the Black Hole hitting on all cylinders. It will be up to Oakland to follow their lead.
Here’s an in-depth look at what to expect when the Panthers ultimately take the field in Oakland.
Two Heavyweight Contenders to go Punch for Punch Under Center
In a matchup between a former MVP and what some are calling the league’s current MVP, Panthers quarterback Cam Newton and Raiders quarterback Derek Carr will go toe to toe in The Coliseum. Newton will look to defend his title and resurrect the Panthers’ season against Carr, but only one of the quarterbacks will leave this heavyweight bout on top.
Just a year removed from his MVP campaign, Newton has turned his Superman suit in for Clark Kent’s trench coat, as he has failed to carry momentum from his reign as MVP into the 2016-2017 season.
Newton has completed just 56.5 percent of his passes for just 2,186 yards, 11 touchdowns, and seven interceptions. With just 11 scores through the air, he is on pace for a career-low 16 touchdowns. On the ground, Newton is averaging a career-low 4.3 yards per carry with just 268 yards on 62 carries.
To prepare for Newton, Raiders backup quarterback Connor Cook has done his best to mirror the former MVP’s talents in practice.
"“He’s a great player, obviously the reigning MVP,” Cook said, via Jimmy Durkin of The Mercury News. “Just trying to go out there and make as many plays as I can, trying to be as dual-threat as possible and trying to drop some dimes as well.”"
Even with Cook doing his best Newton impression, the Raiders’ defense won’t know what it’s truly like until they finally face the real thing under center.
Carr has flashed Superman qualities through 10 games, establishing himself within the MVP race with 2,800 passing yards, 20 touchdowns, and just four interceptions.
Regardless of either of the quarterbacks’ starts this season, both Newton and Carr are capable of picking up the cape in this affair. The two have the utmost experience in putting their respective teams on their backs, and that’s exactly what we should see come Sunday.