CHARLOTTE – The Panthers' next challenger comes in the form of a team looking to build on its best performance of the season.
Washington (4-5) dominated en route to a 47-14 victory over New Orleans last Sunday. Quarterback Kirk Cousins played the best game of his career, throwing for 324 yards and four touchdowns to claim NFC Offensive Player of the Week honors.
"They're an interesting football team that is starting to develop," head coach Ron Rivera said. "You look at the way they've played, they've scored a lot of points. Defensively, I think they are starting to develop their own personality. Very aggressive.
"Cousins has done a nice job for them. We're facing a team that's coming off a big win, and it's going to be interesting to see what we get."
All four of Washington's wins have come at home this season. They'll travel to Bank of America Stadium seeking to knock off the unbeaten Panthers, who own the longest home winning streak in the league. The last home defeat came in Week 11 of the 2014 season.
"We have to play a heck of a football game against a very good Carolina team, obviously," said Washington head coach Jay Gruden, whose team can move into a first-place tie with the NFC East leading Giants with a win. "It's important for us to try to build off the momentum and continue to play well."
Carolina has had no trouble sustaining momentum this season. The Panthers have found a winning formula with "team ball" as quarterback Cam Newton called it. The latest victory, a 27-10 triumph at Tennessee, was arguably the most complete performance thus far.
And the NFC's lone undefeated team is determined to keep improving each week.
"We expect everybody's best every week," defensive end Jared Allen said. "I think coach does a great job of keeping us focused on the process. We have to earn it week to week in this league."
Added Newton: "Focus on Washington and make sure when they come to Bank of America Stadium we find a way to get to 100 – that's 10-0."
Photos from Carolina's win over Washington.