Can the Panthers claw back the Saints?
After an exhilarating first week of NFL action, William Hill are offering a wide range of markets across all 15 remaining games in the NFL. With three live games on offer to UK viewers, we will be previewing Sunday's NFL action all season long, as well as offering a bet bundle on all three live games. This week, we are offering 3/1 on wins for the Saints, Redskins, and 49ers here.
Carolina travelled to the Raymond James Stadium last week, and in a stormy affair with the Buccaneers, came out on the losing side of a tight match. Sophomore QB Cam Newton looked strong in the season opener; however a poor opening quarter for the Carolina D saw Tampa put up 10 points, giving their offense a hard mountain to climb. Returning home, the Panthers will be looking to compound the Saints loss last week with another win, and will need to maintain a strong divisional record if they are to make the postseason.
In New Orleans, a week one loss to Washington was a surprising result. Perhaps even more surprising was the manner of the defeat, conceding over 40 points to the Redskins. Some would suggest that much of the result has to do with RG3's debut and the momentum that can be gained with such speculation of success, however the Saints had a very unsteady off-season, and may struggle throughout 2012. However their offense is quick, powerful and explosive, meaning they can build a lead before their opponents have realised.
Key matchup: Charles Johnson v Jermon Bushrod
Bushrod starting a LT for New Orleans is a weak spot in their offensive line, as he is one of the more overrated linemen in the league. Charles Johnson is a talented DE, and although the Carolina DL is often criticised, he should be able to pressure Drew Brees.
Prediction: New Orleans 31-21 Carolina
The Rams' season opener in Detroit was one of the more entertaining matchups of week one, as the STL defense showed gret improvements on last season, but ended up losing the game in a last minute Matt Stafford TD throw. The Rams return home for the afternoon game on Sky Sports to get their first win since last October. The new coaching set up in St Louis will take no prisoners this season, and after last week's offensive performance, they will have worked on ways to develop all week long.
Washington's trip to NO last Sunday made fans and journalists alike realise that they may well be more than just the NFC East whipping boys in 2012. Rookie QB Robert Griffin III lead the Skins in an imperious performance, and with a new group of receivers headed by former Colt Pierre Garcon, Washington's offense should continue to produce all year long. Their defense combines a solid mix of youth and experience, headed by second year player Ryan Kerrigan, and defensive back London Fletcher.
Key matchup: James Laurinaitis v Robert Griffin III
As the starting MLB and St Louis defensive leader, James Laurinaitis will be playing a lot of zone defense incorporating a role as QB Spy. RG3 is a renowned scrambler, and can expect the Rams #55 to be covering him throughout the game.
Prediction: Washington 24-21 St Louis