The Patriots host the Panthers in joint practices over the next two days. There are plenty of intriguing storylines going into these practices. There are also several match ups we will be focusing on.
Here are the five individual and team match ups we will be focusing on in the next two days.
1. Mac Jones vs. Carolina’s secondary: Mac Jones will play on Friday night so expect him to get the bulk of the reps the next two days. He will be challenged by a Carolina secondary that features Jaycee Horn, C.J Henderson and Jeremy Chinn. The Panthers have depth in the secondary so the Patriots receivers will be challenged.
2. Pats O-Line vs. Panthers D-Line: The Patriots offensive line has struggled this summer but they have been better in the past week. A defensive line that features defensive ends Brian Burns and Yetur Gross-Mayos and defensive tackle Derek Brown will challenge them but I expect the Patriots to run the football well. Pass protection however could be an issue.
3. Christian McCaffery vs. the Patriots linebackers: We all know how good McCaffery is when he’s healthy. He can be a nightmare to cover one on one in space. The Patriots got faster on defense and that speed will be challenged this week.
4. Mayfield and Darnold vs. the Patriots secondary: Two of the top three picks in the 2018 draft are competing for the starting quarterback job in Carolina. They will face a Patriots secondary that is athletic, long and versatile. The Patriots will show them a lot of different looks.
The Patriots will be challenged by a receiving corp that has some size and good route runners. Robbie Anderson Terrace Marshall and D.J Moore will be challenging to defend.
- Ikie Ekwonu vs. Matt Judon: The talented rookie left tackle . will have his hands with Judon Ekwonu has the length and athleticism however to match up so this should be an intriguing match up both in one on one’s and team periods.