The Carolina Panthers will try to continue more than a decade of domination over the Washington Redskins when they visit the nation's capital for a showdown on Sunday. The Panthers have won five straight meetings dating to 2006, including a 26-15 victory at Washington in the most recent clash in 2016.
The Panthers are seeking a third straight overall win after Graham Gano's 63-yard field goal lifted them to a 33-31 victory over the New York Giants last week. Washington entered the week atop the NFC East standings despite an uneven start. After being carved up by Drew Brees in last week's 43-19 loss to New Orleans, Washington's defense faces another tough test against Carolina's talented offense. "It will be a great challenge for our guys," Washington coach Jay Gruden told reporters. "Our eyes have got to be in the right place and we've got to fly to the football without a doubt."
TV: 1 p.m. ET, FOX. LINE: Redskins -1. O/U: 44.5
ABOUT THE PANTHERS (3-1): The Panthers possess the league's top rushing attack, averaging 154 yards per game, and running back Christian McCaffrey leads the NFL in yards from scrimmage (130.3 per game). Cam Newton and the passing game could get a boost this week from the potential return of Pro Bowl tight end Greg Olsen, who re-injured his foot in Week 1. The defense will get back Thomas Davis from his four-game suspension to bolster a unit that has been tough against the run but has struggled a bit versus the pass.
ABOUT THE REDSKINS (2-2): Washington ranks fifth in the league in total defense and 10th in scoring defense, but things are trending in the wrong direction. After holding their first two opponents under 300 total yards, the Redskins have allowed 340 and 447 in their last two games. The offense faltered against the Saints as well, registering a season-low 283 total yards, and the passing game has not gotten going under Alex Smith, who has recorded four touchdown passes and two interceptions in his first season with the team.
1. Newton has registered nine passing touchdowns, two rushing touchdowns and no interceptions in four career games against Washington.
2. Washington has forced a turnover in eight consecutive contests dating to last season, the third-longest current streak in the league.
3. Gano has made a franchise-record 24 consecutive field goals, the longest active streak in the NFL.