Originally posted on 60 Max Power O  |  Last updated 8/26/12

The Carolina Panthers will be in the national spotlight this weekend when they travel to MetLife Stadium to take on the touchdownless New York Jets on Sunday Night Football.

 

With the nation watching, both teams are expected to play their starters into the third quarter. While the Panthers are hoping to show the rest of the NFL that they are a legitimate Super Bowl contender, the Jets are simply hoping to score a touchdown.

New York currently holds the paltry distinction of being the only team in the league that hasn’t crossed the goal line this preseason. In losses to the Bengals (17-6) and Giants (26-3), Rex Ryan’s squad has averaged just over 160 yards of total offense per game.

While neither Mark Sanchez nor Tim Tebow has found much success throwing the football, the Jets’ swiss-cheese offensive line deserves as much blame as anyone. New York’s quarterbacks have been sacked a dozen times in the team’s two preseason losses. Right tackle Wayne Hunter, who will be replaced in the starting lineup on Sunday, gave up three sacks in the first half against the Giants.

With Santonio Holmes, Chaz Schilens and Jeremy Kerley all nursing injuries, Sanchez and Tebow were also limited by a thin receiving corps with no real deep threats.

Holmes and Kerley are expected to play on Sunday, though they will likely see limited snaps.

Meanwhile, the Panthers rebounded nicely against the Dolphins last week after a forgettable preseason debut against the Texans.

Cam Newton looked to be in mid-season form as he led the Panthers offense to 17 first-quarter points. In just three series, the Panthers star quarterback completed 8-of-11 passes for 119 yards and a score.

If Newton is going to find continued success against the Jets, he will have to do it without his favorite receiver. Steve Smith will not play as he recovers from an infection in his left foot.

On the defensive side of the ball, Panthers outside linebacker Thomas Davis will return to action as he attempts to become the first player in NFL history to come back from three ACL tears on the same knee. The eight-year pro has played only nine games over the last three seasons.

However, middle linebacker Jon Beason, who hasn’t played this preseason, will sit out again on Sunday as he continues to nurse a hamstring injury.

Note: In 2010, the Jets edged the Panthers 9-3 at Bank of America in the last and only other preseason meeting between these two teams.

 

Be sure to check out other great articles at Sports Media 101.

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