Miami Dolphins at Carolina Panthers
Spread: Panthers -8.5 | Under/Over: 38
Week 10 of the NFL season comes to an end at Bank of America Stadium, as the Miami Dolphins travel to face the Carolina Panthers on Monday Night Football. The 6-3 Panthers trail the New Orleans Saints in the NFC South, and if the season were to end today (don’t worry, it won’t) they would be one of the two Wild Card teams. At 4-4, the Dolphins are still in the playoff hunt themselves. But they trail not only the Patriots but also the Bills in the AFC East. This will be the 6th all-time meeting between these two sides, with the Dolphins owning a 4-1 record. But they lost their last meeting 20-16 back in 2013, despite 310 yards from Ryan Tannehill. Cam Newton passed for 174 yards and a touchdown, and also added another score on the ground along with 51 rushing yards.
Newton has 1978 passing yards in 2017, with ten touchdowns and 11 interceptions. He also has 341 yards on the ground and a team-high four rushing scores. He does tend to enjoy his Monday Night outings. In five career games on Monday Night Football, he has 11 passing and two rushing scores. The Dolphins are allowing an average of 233.4 passing yards per game. They’ve given up at least one passing touchdown in every game.
Quarterback Jay Cutler had his best game for the Dolphins in their loss to the Raiders in Week 9. He passed for 311 yards and three touchdowns, completing 81% of his passes. He has 1306 passing yards this season, with ten touchdowns and five interceptions. Matt Ryan became just the second quarterback to pass for 300 yards against the Panthers this season in Week 9, and the fifth to toss multiple touchdowns in a game.
Veteran running back Jonathan Stewart leads the Panthers with 350 yards on the ground. He is averaging only 2.9 yards per carry, however, and has just one touchdown. Rookie Christian McCaffrey is the only player in the NFL this season with at least 150 rushing yards and 50 receptions, with 183 and 54. He scored his first career rushing touchdown last week against the Falcons. Since holding the Chargers RBs to 44 yards in Week 2, the Dolphins have allowed at least 67 rushing yards to running backs in seven straight games.
The Dolphins traded away running back Jay Ajayi to the Eagles prior to Week 9’s trade deadline. That leaves Kenyan Drake as the leading rusher on the roster, with 94 yards on just 19 carries. 69 of those yards came last week against the Raiders. Damien Williams has also carried the ball 19 times this season but has just 46 yards on the ground. The Dolphins have yet to score a rushing touchdown this season. The Panthers have allowed more than 100 rushing yards to running backs just once all season, and no more than 76 since Week 3. A running back has not scored a rushing touchdown against them in any of their last four outings.
Kelvin Benjamin was traded to the Bills last week leaving 475 yards and two touchdowns behind, so Devin Funchess is now leading wide receiver on the Panthers roster. He has 443 yards and three receiving touchdowns this season, both the most on the team. Russell Shepard has 11 grabs for 133 yards and a score, while rookie Curtis Samuel’s 70 yards have come from 10 receptions. The Dolphins have allowed ten or more receptions to wide receivers in five games this season. Wide receivers amassed at least 146 yards in all five. The Dolphins have surrendered five receiving touchdowns to wide receivers in their last four games.
Jarvis Landry is second in the NFL with 56 receptions, trailing only Antonio Brown of the Steelers. His 344 career receptions are the most by a single player in his first four seasons in NFL history. He has 430 receiving yards and has scored a receiving touchdown in four of his last five games. Kenny Stills also has four touchdowns in 2017, as well as 341 yards on 28 receptions. Despite missing three games, DeVante Parker has still managed 312 yards from his 24 catches, with a team-high 13.0 yards per reception. The Panthers have only allowed less than 11 receptions in a single game to wide receivers twice this season. In the other seven games, they’ve allowed an average of 13.2 catches and 160.3 yards.
After losing Greg Olsen to injury in Week 2, Ed Dickson has stepped up at the tight end position for the Panthers. He has 22 receptions for 349 yards, with his 15.9 yards per reception the 2nd highest among tight ends with at least 20 catches. In four games between Weeks 5-8, the Dolphins allowed three touchdowns to tight ends, while in Week 9 they saw Jared Cook catch 8 passes for over 100 yards.
Julius Thomas caught his first touchdown as a Dolphin in Week 9 against the Raiders. He has 23 receptions for 252 yards in his first season with the team. The Panthers have held opposing tight ends to less than 80 yards receiving in seven of their nine games, while only allowing receiving touchdowns in two. On both occasions, a tight end caught two scores against them (the Eagles Zach Ertz and Darren Fells of the Lions).
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