NFL Week 4 Preview: Carolina Panthers vs. Chicago Bears (-6 ½)

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Carolina rookie quarterback Cam Newton finally won his first NFL game in a rain-soaked week three affair against the Jacksonville Jaguars. The remaining hurricane conditions swept into Carolina and made it difficult to see the game, much less play it. But even in the muddy slop that he was forced to deal with, Newton still threw for 158 passing yards and a touchdown. Nothing that the Panthers experienced in its week three win over the Jaguars will prepare it to meet the Bears in week four. The Jacksonville defense was assisted by the weather conditions and still could not stop Newton and the Carolina offense. The Bears will not have that sort of problem in week four.

The NFL betting picks fans in Chicago are still not warming up to starting quarterback Jay Cutler. But what Chicago fans should really be worried about is the Bears’ offensive line. In its week three loss to the Green Bay Packers, the Bears were only able to manage 13 total rushing yards and Cutler accounted for 11 of those yards. The Bears’ offense could not stay on the field due to turnovers and a series of three-and-outs. The boos were cascading down on Cutler as he threw two interceptions that stalled Chicago drives and handed the ball back over to Green Bay. Cutler should have an easier time of it in week four, but if the offense does not pick up the pace then offensive coordinator Mike Martz may be bass fishing next year instead of coaching the Chicago offense.

Carolina Panthers

Cam Newton appears to be the real deal at quarterback for the Panthers. He faced some seriously bad weather in week three and was able to pull out the win. In the first two games of the season, the Panthers were hampered by a bad defense. The bad weather seemed to really help the Carolina defense keep the Jacksonville offense under control. That bad defense will come to the forefront again in week four as the Chicago Bears are just waiting for a defense to tee off on and the weather conditions in Chicago rarely approach hurricane force winds and rain. Jay Cutler may be called upon to win this game for the Bears, and there may be little that the price per head Carolina defense can do about it.

Chicago Bears

The betonline reviews of the Chicago Bears defense this season have been extremely impressive. Veteran linebacker Brian Urlacher is playing like a man possessed and picking up interceptions at a frightening pace this season. But that Chicago defense will have its hands full with the elusive Cam Newton. The Bears’ secondary may not be able to keep up with the Carolina receivers and Newton could very well have another 300 to 400-yard passing day. But the Bears will keep the Panthers out of the endzone just enough to allow the Chicago offense to win this game.

The Bottom Line

The Carolina defense will get better as the season goes along, but it still lacks any kind of sustained pass rush that can give the Panthers a real chance at winning games. This one might be close, but it will be a Chicago win in the end.

Pick: Chicago Bears

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