Preview: San Diego at Carolina

When: 1:00 PM ET, Sunday, December 11, 2016
Where: Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, North Carolina


With their chances of making a second straight trip to the Super Bowl all but gone, the Carolina Panthers aim to guarantee a non-losing record at home on Sunday as they host the San Diego Chargers. Carolina, which is 3-3 on its own field, has been nothing short of disappointing after representing the NFC in the NFL's championship game last season, losing five of its first six games to dig itself what is proving to be an inescapable hole.

After winning three of four following their bye week, the Panthers allowed 75 points in back-to-back defeats and appear to have some inner turmoil thanks to coach Ron Rivera's decision to bench star quarterback Cam Newton at the beginning of last week's 40-7 loss in Seattle for violating the team's dress code. San Diego also got off to a rough start this season, losing four of its first five contests to earn a spot in the basement of the AFC West - arguably the strongest division in the league this year. The Chargers have won consecutive games just once in 2016 - knocking off Denver and Atlanta in Weeks 6 and 7, respectively - and have alternated wins and losses since. Philip Rivers ranks in the top six in both passing yards (3,353) and touchdowns (25) but trails Jacksonville's Blake Bortles (15) by one for the most interceptions in the league.

TV: 1 p.m. ET, FOX. LINE: Panthers -1.5. O/U: 49

ABOUT THE CHARGERS (5-7): Casey Hayward has been a thorn in the side of opposing quarterbacks this season as he leads the NFL with seven interceptions - including four in his last five games. The fifth-year cornerback out of Vanderbilt made a total of three picks in 35 contests with Green Bay over the previous three campaigns. Defensive end Joe Bosa is tied for third among NFL rookies with 5.5 sacks despite missing four games with a hamstring injury.

ABOUT THE PANTHERS (4-8): Newton has excelled at home of late, throwing 19 touchdown passes and running for five more scores while being intercepted just six times in his last nine contests. Jonathan Stewart has rushed for seven touchdowns in his last seven games while Ted Ginn Jr. has hauled in a scoring pass in three consecutive contests. Linebacker Luke Kuechly has missed two games while in concussion protocol but has participated in practice this week and could play against San Diego.

EXTRA POINTS

1. Chargers RB Melvin Gordon is eight rushing yards shy from 1,000 on the season while WR Tyrell Williams needs 163 receiving to reach the plateau.

2. San Diego leads the NFL with 25 turnovers.

3. Carolina is 0-3 against the AFC West this season.

PREDICTION: Panthers 27, Chargers 24

Stats and Records

Team Comparison

  W/L Strk PF PA Home Away Grass Turf OT Div Conf
San Diego 5-7 L1 27.8 26.6 3-3 2-4 4-6 1-1 1-1 1-3 4-5
Carolina 4-8 L2 23.6 26.8 3-3 1-5 4-5 0-3 0-0 1-3 4-5

Last Meeting

San Diego Carolina
Date Away Home Tot Rus Pas Tot Rus Pas
12/16/12 CAR 31 SD 7 164 70 94 372 155 217

Player Stats

Previous Matchup
Passing Player COMP% YDS TD INT
SD P. Rivers 69.6 121 1 0
CAR C. Newton 57.6 231 2 0
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
SD C. Brinkley 6 42 7.0 0
CAR D. Williams 22 93 4.2 0
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
SD M. Floyd 2 39 19.5 0
CAR S. Smith Sr. 6 57 9.5 1
TDs Player TD
SD A. Gates 1
CAR M. Tolbert 2
Season
Passing Player COMP% YDS TD INT
SD P. Rivers 62.6 3353 25 14
CAR C. Newton 54.7 2614 14 8
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
SD M. Gordon 251 992 4.0 10
CAR J. Stewart 138 511 3.7 7
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
SD T. Williams 53 837 15.8 6
CAR G. Olsen 61 820 13.4 3
TDs Player TD
SD M. Gordon 12
CAR J. Stewart 7

Quickchart Matchup

San Diego Off vs  Carolina Def
367.8 yards
369.6 yards
3.9 yards/rush
3.8 yards/rush
7.5 yards/attempt
7.3 yards/attempt
Carolina Off vs  San Diego Def
346 yards
360.1 yards
4 yards/rush
3.8 yards/rush
6.7 yards/attempt
7 yards/attempt

Matchup Stats - Full Matchup

San Diego Overall Carolina
5-7 W/L 4-8
7-5-0 ATS 3-8-1
8-3-1 O/U 7-5-0
27.8 Pts For 23.6
26.6 Pts Against 26.8
San Diego A/H Carolina
2-4 W/L 3-3
4-2-0 ATS 2-4-0
4-2-0 O/U 2-4-0
25.5 Pts For 23.3
27.2 Pts Against 21.0