The Carolina Panthers travel to Kansas City for a Week 9 matchup with the defending Super Bowl champions. Carolina enters this week with a 3-5 record after falling to the Falcons last week in a Thursday Night matchup. The Chiefs are 7-1 this season with their only loss coming from a Week 5 game at home against the Raiders. The Panthers have played the defending Super Bowl champions in 19 of its previous 25 regular seasons. The Panthers are 8-11 in those games and have won each of their last two games against the defending champions. Most recently, they won at New England in 2017 and at Philadelphia in 2018. Kansas City holds a 4-2 lead in the overall head-to-head series with Carolina.
By the Numbers:
The Last Meeting:
Kansas City converted a 37-yard field goal attempt as time expired to give the Chiefs a 20-17 victory over the Panthers. With 29 seconds left and the ball at their own 20-yard line, the Panthers offense took the field hoping to break a 17-17 tie, but a fumble by WR Kelvin Benjamin put the Chiefs in position to break the tie. Benjamin ran a slant and caught a 14-yard pass, but Chiefs CB Marcus Peters ripped the ball away from him as Benjamin attempted to go to the ground.
Panthers Players to Watch:
Christian McCaffrey is expected to return to action this week after being sidelined since week-two with an ankle injury. All eyes will be on how offensive coordinator Joe Brady works him back into the offense. Mike Davis has done an impressive job in his absence and thoughtful usage of both backs is key.
Mr Third Down:
Curtis Samuel has totaled 29 receptions this season for 262 receiving yards. Additionally, he has added 91 rushing yards and 2 rushing TDs on 19 attempts, averaging 4.8 yards per rush. Samuel has reeled in 29 catches on 34 targets. His 85.3% receiving percentage ranks 2nd in the NFL (Chris Godwin TB, 86.2%) among all WRs this season (min. 20 receptions).
Brian Burns leads all current Panthers with 10.5 sacks since the start of 2019. This season, Burns has racked up 8 hits on opposing QBs, the most by any Panther. His 3.0 sacks and 3 forced fumbles are both team highs. Through the first 8 weeks this season, Burns has received a 90.6 pass rush rating from Pro Football Focus, the highest in the NFL. Burns has tallied three strip-sacks this season.
The Defensive General:
Through eight games, LB Shaq Thompson is tied for the team lead with 66 tackles, t-7th most in the NFL. Thompson is 1-of-6 players this season with 10+ tackles in 4 or more games. In 2019, Thompson was 1-of-7 LBs with 100+ tackles and 3.0+ sacks, despite missing two games due to injury.
How to Watch:
TELEVISION BROADCAST: FOX (WJZY in Charlotte)
ON THE CALL: Kevin Burkhardt, Daryl Johnston, Pam Oliver
ONLINE: Fans can watch games for FREE online through Panthers.com on mobile web and the Panthers’ app. This week, all users everywhere will be able to watch the nationally televised game. Links to watch will be available at the start of the game on both platforms.
LOCAL RADIO BROADCAST: WBT-AM 1110 AM in Charlotte market, click here for a full list of affiliate stations.