<
>

Prediction: Panthers will beat Bears

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – A Chicago Bears team that rushed for 235 yards last week against Green Bay should be foaming at the mouth as it prepares for a Carolina Panthers defense that has given up 391 yards rushing the last two games.

It appears to be a major mismatch.

If the Panthers don’t find a way to stop that and pressure quarterback Jay Cutler, it will be a long day.

I believe they’ll correct the lack of discipline that has plagued them and do that just as they did the first two weeks when they looked like one of the league’s best defenses.

This will more resemble the Carolina defense in Week 2 against Bears division rival Detroit. Remember? The Panthers stifled wide receiver Calvin Johnson and the high-powered Lions offense with four sacks and two forced turnovers.

The Bears also could be a good team for Carolina to fix its red zone woes against. Opponents have gotten inside the Chicago 20 more times (20) than any team in the league other than Oakland.

True, the Bears have limited those teams to nine touchdowns, so the percentage is good. Carolina’s issue has been mistakes, shooting itself in the foot with penalties and sacks that shouldn’t happen. I believe that’ll be corrected.

Panthers 24, Bears 17