This Saturday at 8:00 PM the Panthers will head back home to take on the New York Jets.
The Panthers are coming a disappointing loss versus the Baltimore Ravens. Their receivers had trouble catching passes, and their offensive line had trouble protecting the quarterback.
There were a couple of bright spots, however. Quarterback Jimmy Clausen played exceptionally well in his NFL debut. Defensive end Greg Hardy, a sixth-round pick out of Ole Miss also showed a lot of potential.
Presumed starting quarterback Matt Moore did not look too good against Baltimore, but his performance can be taken with a grain of salt, as it was the first preseason game of a long season.
But If Moore doesn't show up, and Clausen has another impressive game, Moore could be in danger of losing his starting job.
Pro-Bowl wide receiver Steve Smith returned to the practice field this week. It seemed like his left arm, that he broke earlier this summer playing flag football, felt better. He even dared players to hit his arm.
Smith's status for this Saturday is unclear, but if he does play, that would be a huge boost to a Panthers squad that desperately needs its number one receiver.
Quarterback Tony Pike is the Panther with the most to lose.
We didn't get to see much of Pike last Thursday as he is currently fourth on the QB depth chart. If he does not to prove that he is a better option as a third string quarterback, he might end up on the practice squad.
Who will win this matchup?
Carolina's opponent, the New York Jets, are coming off a disappointing performance of their own as they were beat down by the Giants on Monday. They will look to redeem themselves against the Panthers this Saturday.
The Jets made a lot of offseason moves that should put them in Super Bowl contention, yet they still have a lot to prove.
Cornerback Darelle Revis will most likely hold out some of the regular season, which means Antonio Cromartie and Kyle Wilson will be the two starting cornerbacks. As long Rex Ryan is coaching Jets, they should be fine with or without Revis.
Donovan Warren is the New York player with the most to lose:
Warren, a cornerback, was undrafted out of Michigan. Some projected Warren to be a 1st round pick while some projected him to be a 2nd to 3rd round pick. The Jets eventually signed him as a free agent.
If Warren doesn't prove that he is good enough to be on the Jets roster, then he will likely be cut.
Prediction: Jets 45, Panthers 31