This is a classic tale of two quarterbacks; last year's rookie sensation Cam Newton going 'ego to ego' with this year's version, Robert Griffin III.
Both have unlimited ability and, for this season at least, similar stats. RGIII edges it as far as the intangibles go with his awesome nickname and striking resemblance to Eddie Murphy; but the hard facts are that Cam has thrown for 1,701 yards from 212 attempts, mirroring RGIII's 1778 yards from 223 attempts.
They are also both excellent rushers, Newton leading his team in rushing and RGIII second in that department for the 'Skins.
That's where the comparison ends: RGIII, although the more inexperienced of the two, has grown rapidly into his leadership role and looks the all-round real deal, whereas Cam has not dealt with adversity well, questioning teammates and coaches and handling the media with surprising naivety.
However, Cam and his team did put in a shift and a half versus the highflying 6-1 Bears last week, racking up 19 unanswered points and leading 19-7 with only eight minutes of the game remaining. The Panthers played strongly all through that match with Newton at his majestic best. If, and it's a big if after such a heartbreaking loss (the winning field goal was kicked as the clock ran out) the same intensity can emerge against Washington, the Panthers have a real shot at victory.
After last week's performance they deserve a significant win, and the deep passing threat they possess in the form of receivers Steve Smith and Brandon LaFell should hurt the 'Skins woeful pass defence (officially ranked worst in the league).
I'm sure that Newton will be desperate not to be eclipsed by RGIII and if he gets any kind of protection from his O-line this is his chance to silence his critics. On the flipside Washington still have realistic hopes of a post-season so they've got a lot more to play for in their own back yard.
I'm going to stick with my initial assessment and take the Panthers to win outright @ 2.68/5, and on the handicap (+3 pts) @ 2.0621/20. Smith looks a tad overpriced @ 8.07/1 to be First Touchdown Scorer so I'll be nibbling on that in between packets of Pickled Onion Monster Munch and Frazzles during my pre-game routine.
Back Carolina Panthers to win outright @ 2.68/5
Back Carolina Panthers on Handicap +3pts @ 2.0621/20
Back Steve Smith to be First Touchdown Scorer @ 8.07/1