Quick Take: Panthers (4-3) at Titans (5-2)

Last meeting
Midway through the Panthers' 2003 Super Bowl season they had a misstep against the Titans. Tennessee handed them a 37-17 loss and ended their six-game winning streak in the process.

These teams have only met twice and have split the two games.

Last week
Carolina started off well, tying a franchise record with an 18-play opening touchdown drive against Indianapolis. After that initial drive it all came crumbling down against the defending champions. Starting quarterback Vinny Testaverde left with an injury, the Panthers turned the ball over three times and the running game largely disappeared. The end result: a 31-7 home loss. The Titans did not have one of their best performances but played well enough to beat the Raiders. LenDale White carried the load in Tennessee's 13-9 victory.

At stake
Contrary to conventional wisdom, the Panthers are actually far better on the road (4-0) than they are at home (0-3). Given that trend, Carolina needs to pile up as many road wins as it can to fend off the surging Saints in the NFC South. The Titans have a lot at stake as well. They are right in the thick of the AFC playoff race and must keep winning to stay on pace with the Jaguars and Colts in the AFC South.

Key matchup
Panthers kicker John Kasay vs. Titans kicker Rob Bironas. Both kickers are far and away their teams' most prolific point producers. Kasay has 11 field goals on the season and leads the Panthers with 46 points, while Bironas has an NFL-high 18 field goals (the Titans have scored only 13 touchdowns by comparison) and leads Tennessee with 67 points. Each kicker has missed only two field goals so far this year. With the Panthers' uncertainties at quarterback -- both Testaverde and David Carr are nursing ailments -- Carolina figures to lack the firepower to consistently score touchdowns. Likewise, the Titans, with struggling Vince Young under center, appear unlikely to get into the end zone often. Given these factors, the majority of scoring opportunities may came via the field goal. One missed field goal could mean the difference.

Did you know?
Panthers tight end Jeff King had a career-best 10 catches for 82 yards in last week's loss to the Colts.

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