Week 10 of the 2018 NFL regular season will move very quickly for the Pittsburgh Steelers as they now must prepare to play the Carolina Panthers Thursday night at Heinz Field. The Panthers, who enter Week 10 with a 6-2 record following their 42-28 Sunday home win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, opened initially as 7-point road underdogs to the Steelers, according to vegasinsider.com. That line has already dipped as low as 5-points at a few online sportsbooks because of early betting action.
In their Sunday win over the Buccaneers, Panthers quarterback Cam Newton completed 19 of his 25 total pass attempts in the game for 247 yards and two touchdowns. He did not throw an interception in that game and his two touchdown throws went to tight end Greg Olsen and wide receiver Curtis Samuel and from 17 and 19 yards out, respectively. Newton also ran for 33 yards on 11 carries against the Buccaneers with only one of those officially listed as a quarterback scramble.
For the season, Newton has completed 67.3% of his 263 total pass attempts for 1,893 yards with 15 touchdowns and just 4 interceptions. While he has been sacked 12 times in total in the first eight games of the season, he’s also already rushed for 342 yards and 4 touchdowns on 73 total carries.
Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey leads his team in rushing entering Week 10 with 502 yards and 3 touchdowns on 109 total carries. McCaffrey also leads the Panthers in catches with 49 for another 378 yards and two touchdowns. Wide receiver Devin Funchess leads the Panthers in receiving yardage with 445 yards on his 36 total receptions and has a team-best three touchdown receptions on the season as does Olsen.
Defensively for the Panthers, middle linebacker Luke Kuechly leads the team in total tackles with 64. Defensive end Mario Addison leads the Panthers in sacks with 7.5 and 3 of those came in Sunday’s win over the Buccaneers. Cornerback Donte Jackson leads the Panthers in interceptions with 4 entering Week 10 and his latest one came Sunday against the Buccaneers. Safety Mike Adams has 3 interceptions on the season and the Panthers defense has 15 total takeaways through eight games played.
The Panthers new owner as of this season is David Tepper, who was formerly a Steelers minority owner since 2009. Tepper bought the Panthers from original owner and founder Jerry Richardson in May 2018.
Ron Rivera is now in his eighth season as the Panthers head coach. He was a finalist for the Steelers head coaching job in 2007. Not too long after Rivera interviewed for the position, the Steelers hired Mike Tomlin to succeed Bill Cowher.
The Steelers and Panthers have met during an NFL regular season just six times in total with the first game between the two franchises taking place in 1996. That game was won by the Panthers 18-14 in Charlotte, NC and the Steelers have won the five meetings since then with the last one being a 37-19 victory at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, NC in 2014. Three of those other four Steelers wins took place in Pittsburgh.
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