Coming off their biggest loss of the season, the Panthers are looking to bounce back this weekend in their first home game in a month against the 4-4 Tennessee Titans.
The Titans are coming off back to back wins since installing Ryan Tannehill as the starting Quarterback and will be looking to keep that run going as the AFC South looks more and more wide open… Here’s how the Panthers will look to stop them.
1. Improving the run defense.
The 49ers put up over 200 rushing yards against Carolina last week on their way to a blow out 51-13 win, an uncharacteristic moment for a Defense that prides itself on being able to stuff the run game.
However, this week may see a better matchup as Titans running back Derrick Henry is much more of a ‘ground and pound’ style back, the type of which Carolina are much more suited to facing.
Don’t be surprised if Tennessee opt to give back Dion Lewis more reps than usual, as he could give the Panthers problems in terms of threatening both in the run and pass out of the backfield.
2. Get the ball to Curtis Samuel.
In the aftermath of last week, Samuel has received very unfair criticism for his performance so far this season, with reporters saying he’ll need to up his game in order to help the Panthers going forward.
Despite this, the advanced numbers have shown that Curtis has been doing all he can in his role, creating great separation for himself and just not seeing the ball come his way from quarterback Kyle Allen.
Tennessee has given up 300 passing yards to opposing QB’s in each of their last 2 games, hopefully this will be the weekend where we see the big 100+ yard receiving game from Samuel we’ve all been waiting for
3. Deal with Tennessee’s many wide receivers.
Since making the change at Quarterback, the Titans have seen a much improved pass attack with 5 passing TD’s over their last 2 games compared to the 7 they had seen in Mariota’s 6 starts prior.
It comes as no surprise that this would be the case when you look at the skill players on their roster… 5th overall pick Corey Davis, AJ Brown and off season acquisition Adam Humphries.
Carolina will have its hands full this Sunday dealing with them, but with James Bradberry, Donte Jackson and Ross Cockrell… they’re pretty well equipped to do so.