DENVER BRONCOS AT CAROLINA PANTHERS
Bank of America Stadium
The Denver Broncos are set to take on Cam Newton and the 2-6 Carolina Panthers. The Broncos are 5-3 and at the top of the AFC West division. The Panthers, on the other hand, are a week removed from beating the Washington Redskins for their 2nd win of the season.
The Panthers have been a disappointment for the entirety of the 2012 season. Last year, Cam Newton was busy setting all kinds of rookie quarterback records and had the Panthers widely considered to be dark horses this year. That hasn't exactly worked out, as planned. The Panthers are 12th in rushing yards per game, 18th in passing yards per game, but just 27th in points per game. That's what happens when you convert only 38% of your third downs and you are -5 in turnover differential.
To be fair, the Denver Broncos aren't a whole lot better in turnover differential (-4), but the Broncos boast the league's 3rd highest 3rd down conversion rate (48%, tied with the Atlanta Falcons).
John Fox has downplayed his return to Carolina, all week, but this will be an important game for him and the rest of the Denver Broncos. The San Diego Chargers are still just a game back, so the Broncos must continue winning to keep Philip Rivers, Ryan Mathews and Antonio Gates at arms length.