Why this game is intriguing: If you'd told me before the season that Panthers-Bears would be next-to-last, I'd have laughed. How could it be, with Cam Newton vs. Jay Cutler? But that's how far Carolina has sunk, causing the firing of general manager Marty Hurney this week. There is still talent on this team, but the Panthers will need to pull it together fast to compete with Chicago. (It's a long shot.) This ball-hawking Bears defense is one of the NFL's best, and one can imagine how frustrating it will make life for Newton and receiver Steve Smith. If there's one quarterback whose body language we'll analyze on Sunday, it's Newton.
Justin Fields skepticism is baffling; top five unicorns in the 2021 NFL Draft
In this edition of the Scout's Notebook, Bucky Brooks says growing skepticism around Justin Fields is nonsense. Plus, this draft class' top five unicorns and a breakdown of one notable team's aggressive offseason approach.
Expanded booth-to-ref communication expected to pass; uniform No. rule change has support
A few rule changes are expected to come out of next week's vote from league owners, including the competition committee's proposal for expanded booth-to-official communication during replays has strong support among coaches and is likely to pass next week, Tom Pelissero reports.