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WR Kealoha Pilares - Carolina Panthers

5-10, 199Born: 2-19-1988College: HawaiiDrafted: Round 5

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Photo: JDedmonPhoto, US Presswire

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Week 16: vs Cleveland Browns

Mark and Joe say: Neutral matchup. Derek Anderson did a fine job (again) in relief of Cam Newton, winning his second start of the year during Week 16 with 25/40 for 277 yards, one TD and zero interceptions thrown during the 19-17 victory. Greg Olsen (13 targets for 10/110/0 receiving) and Kelvin Benjamin (13 for 8/104/0) were his main targets last week, but Jerricho Cotchery (five for 5/57/1) handled the lone TD pass from Anderson. The early word on Newton this week is as follows: head coach Ron Rivera said on Monday 'I don't want to put a guy out there that can't protect himself. By that it's being able to run out of the way, scramble out of the way, stay alive, keep the play alive by being able to get away. That's all part of it. That's all part of the decision that went into the first Tampa Bay game.' The team has a rehab program for Newton, and his status will be determined based on if he can meet the rehab goals during the week. Stay tuned to Footballguys.com's Players in the News as we get closer to the weekend to determine if Newton will start on Sunday or not. Anderson is doing a good job for Carolina as the interim starter, so there is no need to rush Newton back into action. The Browns' D faces this situation - with rookie Johnny Manziel under center, the Browns' offense couldn't sustain drives during his first start, leading to a 38:52 to 21:08 time of possession disparity in favor of Cleveland last week (leading to fatigue for the Browns' over-worked defenders). As Manziel is in the saddle to stay for this season, their defense is likely to face another endurance test this week - Cincinnati piled up 45/244/3 rushing in the other phase of the game last week. If Carolina can do something similar, whoever is under center won't need to pass the ball much on Sunday. This is a neutral matchup as of midweek because we don't know if Cam will be running the football on Sunday - if his back can take ball-carrying duties. It is likely that either quarterback won't need to throw the ball a lot as the Cleveland offense is currently a horrid mess with a new rookie quarterback facing his second NFL start this week.

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Schedule

16vs Cleveland Browns
17@ Atlanta Falcons