What could the Carolina Panthers look like in the final ten games of the season, as interim head coach Steve Wilks tries to throw his name in the hat for the head coaching position?
The Carolina Panthers went up against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Carolina ended up winning to most people’s surprise, the final score was 21-3. Carolina looked like a different team than the previous week against the Bucs. So the main question is, what could this new Panthers team look like?
What could this new Panthers team look like?
This Carolina team could look totally different under Wilks than they were under Matt Rhule. Rhule was mainly reliant on Christan McCaffrey. Now that both of them are gone this team could look very different as other players step into a larger role following the All-Pro RBs trade.
Duo Running Back System
The Panthers experimented with a new having duel running backs as opposed to having a single back, which happened while Christan McCaffery was in Carolina. In the most recent game versus the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, it worked. Chubba Hubbard and D’Onta Foreman combined for 181 rushing yards and one touchdown. On the receiving end, they combined for four receptions for 37 yards. They are also able to get creative with Hubbard and Foreman. There is a huge possibility the running game scheme could be switched to dual carries.
Spreading the Ball
Now that CMC is gone the Panthers now have the chance to do something they haven’t done in a while, spreading the ball. Most of the offensive plays were designed run plays for McCaffery. So with him gone the Panthers are free to take deep shots and the ability to spread the ball to receivers like Tommy Tremble and DJ Moore.
A More Aggressive Defense
Now that’s not to say the Panthers don’t already have a good defense. But, this defense could look even better, more aggressive, and more opportunistic. The defense was missing key pieces Jaycee Horn and Jeremy Chinn for example. Yet they still practically shut down Tom Brady even with key injuries.
No More Three Quarterbacks System During the Season
So for the past few years, the Panthers have been playing with three quarterbacks during the season. Last season, they had Sam Darnold, PJ Walker, and Cam Newton. If PJ Walker continues to play like he is then the Panthers may not have to trot out three quarterbacks like they have been for the past few seasons.
So what was different from the Los Angeles Rams game to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers game? CMC being traded to the 49ers seems to have played a part. Was CMC Holding Carolina Back? Yes and No. No, because the coaching staff under Rhule was force-feeding McCaffery which didn’t lead to him being used correctly and also which led to him getting injured. Yes indirectly, with CMC being gone the coaching staff are now forced to adapt and change their offensive scheme which is a good thing for the Panthers in the long run.