Panthers preview: Nov. 8 at Kansas City Chiefs
Game: Carolina Panthers (3-5) at Kansas City Chiefs (7-1), 1 p.m.
TV: FOX (Kevin Burkhardt play-by-play, Daryl Johnston color analyst, Pam Oliver sideline reporter)
RADIO: WBT-AM 1110/WBT-FM 99.3 in Charlotte is flagship station (Mick Mixon play-by-play, Kurt Coleman and Jim Szoke color analysts, Kristen Balboni sideline reporter)
THE SERIES: Kansas City leads series 4-2 including a 20-17 win in Charlotte in the last meeting on Nov. 13, 2016.
RANKINGS AMONG NFL (Through week 8): Carolina offense – 19th overall, 18th rushing, 19th passing. Carolina defense – 15th overall, 20th rushing, 15th passing. Kansas City offense – 4th overall, 13th rushing, 4th passing. Kansas City defense – 10th overall, 29th rushing, 3rd passing.
BY THE NUMBERS: 9-10 – Carolina’s all-time record against defending Super Bowl champions. The Panthers won their first such meeting 13-7 at San Francisco in their inaugural year of 1995. And they’ve won their last two such meetings – 33-30 at New England in 2017 and 21-17 at Philadelphia in 2018 – to break a nine-game losing streak against defending Super Bowl champions.
NOTABLE: After missing six games with a high ankle sprain, running back Christian McCaffrey is expected to return to action against the Chiefs. In two games with McCaffrey this season – both losses – McCaffrey had 155 yards and four touchdowns rushing and caught seven passed for 67 yards and the Panthers averaged 23.0 first downs, 107.5 yards rushing, 300.0 yards passing and 407.5 yards total. In four games without McCaffrey – Carolina went 3-3 with Mike Davis replacing him – the Panthers averaged 19.5 first downs, 111.5 yards rushing, 234.0 yards passing and 345.5 yards total with Davis picking up 394 yards and two touchdowns rushing with 30 catches for 170 yards and two touchdowns….
At 3-5 after the first half of the season, the Panthers will hope to snap a two-year second half slump and add to the franchise’s history of strong finishes. Carolina has had a better record in the second half of its season 13 times in 25 previous years, a worse record in eight second halves and four years in which their record was the same in each half….
The Panthers’ best overall record after a 3-5 first half finish? They went 8-8 in 1999 and 2009 after going 5-3 in the second half….
Carolina is 9-9 against the AFC West since the current NFL scheduling model was adopted in 2002. The Panthers’ best record was 4-0 in 2008 and their worst was 1-3 in 2004 and 2016. They are 1-1 this season with a home loss to Las Vegas and road win at the Los Angeles Chargers. They’ll complete their AFC West games on Dec. 13 at home against Denver….
Panthers wide receiver Curtis Samuel ranks tied for second in the NFL in third down receptions for first downs (12), third down receptions (16) and 10th in third down receiving yards (177)….
The first Kansas City Chiefs Pro Football Hall of Famer (1983 induction) was Shelby’s Bobby Bell. A 1959 graduate of old Cleveland Training School in Shelby where he was an all-state quarterback, Bell went to Minnesota and was a 1960 national champion and 1962 Outland Trophy winner as college football’s outstanding lineman. With the Chiefs, the athletic Bell was turned into a linebacker and became a 1970 Super Bowl champion, six-time All-Pro, nine-time Pro Bowler and his No. 78 jersey was retired by the franchise in 1984….
Nine Chiefs have Carolinas connections – Kicker Harrison Butker was drafted by the Panthers in the seventh round of the 2017 draft, offensive tackle Mike Remmers played three years for the Panthers (2014-16), wide receiver Sammy Watkins played at Clemson (2011-13), cornerback Antonio Hamilton is from Johnston, S.C., and played at South Carolina State (2013-15), cornerback Bashaud Breeland is from Allendale, S.C., and played at Clemson (2011-13), cornerback Rashad Fenton played at South Carolina (2015-18), linebacker Dorian O’Daniel played at Clemson (2014-17), linebackers coach Matt House worked at North Carolina (2003-04), Gardner-Webb (2005) and the Panthers (2008) and defensive backs coach Davie Merritt played at Raleigh Millbrook High School and N.C. State (1990-92).