Defense has not been a trademark of the 2012 Raiders, having given up 402 points in 14 games, so it will be no surprise if they add to that inflated number this weekend. Pro Bowl defensive tackle Richard Seymour has somehow stayed on the active roster all season, despite missing the last six contests, and he will be out again when his team tries to slow down the recharged Panthers.
The Panthers are riding the kind of natural high associated with their first winning streak of the season, and one player has been instrumental in that success. Thomas Davis has come back from injuries that would have sent others into retirement, and along with his off-field charity and volunteer work, he now has the honor of being the Panthers’ nominee for a very significant award named after an NFL legend.
If the Panthers were to entertain a theme song for this season it might as well be David Bowie’s 1972 hit single “Changes,” because there have been so many of them on the roster. And on the subject of changes, Cam Newton has also made some, all for the better.
One team could get their season back on track but the Cowboys have some significant injuries to their offense and special teams. The Panthers are hurting too, but after week off they are focused and ready to go.
The Panthers season comes down to this: They have one foot in the grave and the other on a banana peel and the only way to get back on solid footing is to beat the Cowboys on Sunday. But Dallas is on notice from their owner to shape up or ship out and they need a win just to get back to the .500 mark.