CHARLOTTE, N.C. — On Thursday, the Carolina Panthers take on the Pittsburgh Steelers in what should be a rare Thursday night game worth watching. Both teams have a lot going for them this season, with the records to match. Carolina sits at 6-2 with Pittsburgh close behind at 5-3-1.

On paper, this should be a Pittsburgh Steelers victory, but I am not convinced.

Offense

We are just now beginning to see Norv Turner’s offense in its full glory. It all makes me wish the Carolina Panthers ditched Mike Shula years ago. So many wasted seasons under an inept coach with a famous last name.

Pittsburgh is slightly above average on defense, ranking 12th in the league overall. However, they are 4th overall in sacks which is a bit concerning for the boys in blue. Luckily for the Carolina Panthers, their offensive line has performed admirably. This may be the best offensive line we have seen since 2015 and maybe longer. If Cam Newton can get into a groove early and get rid of the ball quickly I see at least three touchdowns in the Panthers’ future tonight.

Defense

It will be interesting to see how the Panthers deal with the Antonio Brown. James Bradberry has performed very well against players like Mike Evans, completely shutting him down just a few days ago. But Brown is a different type of receiver. Some would say a class all his own and they are probably right. I would be very interested in seeing how rookie Donte’ Jackson would do against Brown, matching speed for speed. The veteran would likely win the battle, but imagine if it was close? It would all but seal the deal for Jackson to win defensive rookie of the year.

Historically, the Carolina Panthers have done well against statue quarterbacks in the pocket, which Ben Roethlisberger is these days. I like this matchup tonight for the Panthers.

Overall this will be a close game that will come down to a field goal or perhaps a two-point conversion. I am going with my head and my heart here.

Score

Carolina Panthers: 27

Pittsburgh Steelers: 25

Agree? Disagree? You can sound off right here with thousands of Carolina Panthers fans.