November 7, 2020

By Fred Liggett
FredL@lstribune.net

A lot of Kansas City area high school teams call themselves the Panthers but the Chiefs haven’t seen many Panthers in the team’s 60 years of existence. This week the Chiefs play host to the Carolina Panthers in what is only the seventh meeting in franchise history. The series is in the Chiefs favor 4-2 with the Chiefs winning the last three times.

The Chiefs for the first time in the 2020 season will face an NFC team and the first of four NFC South Division opponents. The Panthers under the leadership of first year head coach Matt Rhule come to Kansas City with a 3-5 mark. The first half of the season has seen the Panthers play without key players and that has hindered their progress. The last time they took the field the Panthers lost on a Thursday night by eight to Atlanta. The extra three days to prepare for the Chiefs was needed plus the team expects the return of RB Christian McCaffrey on Sunday.

The return of McCaffrey plus the talents of QB Teddy Bridgewater and WR Robby Anderson will be what the Chiefs defense has to tackle for another home win. On the defensive side of the ball the Chiefs got both good and bad news this week. Returning to practice on Wednesday was rookie CB L’Jarius Sneed after missing the last six games with a collarbone injury. Missing the first couple of practices was DE Frank Clark. Clark was held out of practices and the severity of his knee injury was unknown at press time.

When looking at the records at the halfway point of the season of these two teams one would think the Chiefs would have an easy time sending the Panthers home with another loss. Carolina is 3-5 while the Chiefs enter at 7-1. The Panthers hope to pound the ball a lot on Sunday which means the Chiefs run defense will be tested. Should the game be a close one it would be another close chapter in the series as the Chiefs won the last meeting 20-17 in 2016. The outcome wasn’t decided until Chiefs Kicker Cairo Santos hit his game winning field goal with time running out on the game clock.

Leading the way for the Chiefs will be the AFC Offensive Player of the Week as QB Pat Mahomes threw for five TD’s along with zero interceptions in the team’s 35-9 win last week against the New York Jets. This will be the third week of action in a Chiefs uniform for RB Le’Veon Bell who is expected to get more carries as he gets used to the team’s offensive plays.

With a win this week, the Chiefs will enter the team’s bye week at 8-1 and more than a game lead in the AFC West Division. A win would also give Chiefs Head Coach Andy Reid his 230th career victory, a win that sees him pass Curly Lambeau with the fifth most wins in NFL history. Expect the Chiefs to begin the second half of the season the same way they did the first half with a win at Arrowhead. That’s What I REID Into It for this week.