Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Panthers Look to Bounce Back

Sharon Thorsland
November 01, 2019 - 2:24 pm

The Panthers had a reality check last week, losing in a big way to the undefeated 49ers. 

They're looking to get back on track this week against a Titans team that has won two straight.  Tennessee is 4-4 on the season, coming off a win over Tampa Bay, while the Panthers had their four-game win streak snapped and are now 4-3.

Both of these teams feature a backup at quarterback as the starter.  Kyle Allen will start his sixth straight game in place of the injured Cam Newton, while the Titans have Ryan Tannehill under center.  

The former Dolphins starter replaced the benched Marcus Mariota, and has led Tennessee to two straight wins, throwing five touchdowns and just one interception. 

“He's played in the league for a long time,” said Panther cornerback Donte Jackson. “You can never take that lightly, backup or not - you got to give him the utmost respect.  We’re gonna approach it like a regular game plan, treat him like a starter, and get ready to play.”

Tannehill's favorite target is slot receiver Adam Humphries.  The former Clemson standout leads the team with 28 catches.  Pro Bowl tight end Delanie Walker has been slowed by an ankle injury, but Jonnu Smith has come up big the past two games with nine catches for 142 yards and a touchdown.  

The Titans like to run the ball first, though, and they've got one of the best backs in the league in Derrick Henry.  The former Heisman Trophy winner is 6-doot-3, 247 pounds and is tough to slow down. He's picked up 581 yards and five touchdowns on the season, and also has 8 catches, one of them going for a score.

Tennessee has given up a league-worst 34 sacks on the season.  The Panthers rank 2nd in the league with 30 sacks

After facing the 49ers stellar defense last week, the Panthers don't really catch a break this week. 

 The Titans are allowing just 335 yards per game, that 9th in the NFL, and are stingy when it counts, giving up just 16.9 points a contest, that's fourth in the league.  They run an aggressive 3-4 scheme that features plenty of Pro Bowl talent, including veteran defensive tackle Jurrell Casey and former Dolphin linebacker Cameron Wake. 

The Titans also start a pair of former Patriots at cornerback in Malcolm Butler and Logan Ryan, who's been outstanding this season with three interceptions, 3.5 sacks and 3 forced fumbles.

After last week's loss to the 49ers, the Panthers are looking to get back on track Sunday.  They also want to shut down any ideas that they'll go on a losing skid like they did last season after the beat down by the Steelers.  

“We've got to do what we do best,” Allen said.  “We have to get back to the way that we were those last four weeks when we were executing really well, we weren't hurting ourselves, and our playmakers were making plays.  We just got to get back to what we were doing.” 

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