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NFL: NOV 19 Cowboys at Panthers

by Sharon Thorsland

The Panthers head to the Music City for a match up with the Tennessee Titans on Sunday. Both teams are struggling, with the Panthers sitting at 1-9 on the year and the Titans are 3-7 and in the midst of a three game losing streak. Kick-off is set for 1:00 Sunday.

The Titans also start a rookie at quarterback in Will Levis, who took over in week seven for an ineffective Ryan Tannehill. Levis had an impressive debut, throwing four touchdowns in a win over the Falcons. But the offense has stalled again, the Titans are ranked 27th in the NFL averaging just 286 yards and less than 17 points per game. But you can’t count them out because they’ve got Deandre Hopkins and Derrick Henry. Hopkins is the Titan’s go to guy, the All-Pro receiver has 42 catches for 650 yards and four touchdowns. A former Heisman winner, Henry is one of the best running backs in the league and at 6’3 and 247 pounds, is tough to slow down. “Once he gets out on the edge he’s a problem,” said Panther safety Alex Cook. “You can’t stop a freight train once it gets going so we’ve got to get him moving laterally and get him to stop his feet.”

The Titans don’t have a lot of big names on defense. They traded away star safety Kevin Byard, replacing him with veteran Terrell Edmunds. Former Bucs standout Sean Murphy-Bunting starts at cornerback. The Titans do have a strong run defense, they only allow 3.9 yards per carry, that’s 8th in the NFL. Pro Bowl defensive tackle Jeffery Simmons anchors the front line, while defensive end Denico Autry and Pro Bowl edge rusher Harold Landry get after the quarterback, they’ve combined for 11 sacks. They could spell trouble for the Panthers already struggling offensive line, which just lost starter Austin Corbett for the rest of the season

Wins certainly haven’t been easy to come by this season for the Panthers, but this does look like a winnable one. The Titans are having their own struggles, and the Panthers have won the last two in the series, including a 2015 match up in Nashville. And this team still believes they’re close to turning things around. “Just keep pounding,” said safety Sam Franklin. “Ain’t nobody coming to save us. I know this group is full of fighters and that’s what we’re going to do, we’re going to fight.