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Panthers Run Attack Crucial Against Patriots

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By Danny Cox

FOXBORO, MA - NOVEMBER 3: Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots celebrates a touchdown with Aaron Dobson #17 of the New England Patriots in the 2nd half  against Pittsburgh Steelers at Gillette Stadium on November 3, 2013 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots (Credit, Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

By the grace of good bounces and a swarming defense, the Carolina Panthers continued their winning streak this past Sunday by taking down the San Francisco 49ers. The offense was severely lacking in just about every aspect of the game, and it almost appeared as if it didn’t exist at all most of the time.

That’s going to need to change to keep pace with the New England Patriots.

So far this season, the Patriots have scored 23 or more points in seven of nine games. The last four games, they’ve scored over 27 points in each and one of those games was a loss. Two weeks ago, they put up 55 points on the heralded defense of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

What’s scary is that the Patriots are doing all of this while virtually having one veteran receiver. Julian Edelman has 49 receptions for 473 yards and he has obviously become Tom Brady’s primary target. Aaron Dobson, Kenbrell Thompkins, and Danny Amendola do well enough together to put forth some more random targets for Brady.

Rob Gronkowski is always dangerous for any defense to cover, but his injuries are keeping him from being who he truly can be on the field.

The most dangerous weapon of the Patriots that the Panthers will have to keep their eye on will running back Stevan Ridley. He has been the most consistent player on offense for New England as he’s a great runner, but is hard to keep track of when coming out of the backfield on a passing play.

Unfortunately for any team that faces the Patriots, Tom Brady can make virtually anyone on his side look good and play even better.

Brady has spread the ball around a good bit this season as 13 different players have caught a pass, seven have over 100 yards receiving, and six have caught touchdowns.

The Panthers defense has been stepping up to the task this entire season, and they’re going to have to do it big time against the Patriots. New England is one of those teams that will make you think they’re weak, but then end up being incredibly strong in a heartbeat.

Defensively, the Patriots may consider themselves lucky that the Panthers have been struggling on offense.

Carolina doesn’t have much of a passing game lately, but the Patriots have a good passing defense so they kind of even each other out. The running game should help the Panthers take time off of the clock and score some points.

New England is giving up almost 130 yards a game on the ground, and Carolina needs to take advantage of that. With DeAngelo Williams, Mike Tolbert, and Jonathan Stewart, the Panthers should be able to run all over the Patriots and that is what they need to focus on.

While the Patriots are able to run up the score, a number of their opponents have kept pace with them and barely lost. The Panthers did just enough this past week to take down the Niners, and if they do just a little bit more, they will push the Pats.

For more Carolina Panthers news and updates, visit Carolina Panthers Central.

Danny Cox knows a little something about the NFL, whether it means letting you know what penalty will come from the flag just thrown on the field or quickly spouting off who the Chicago Bears drafted in the first round of the 1987 draft (Jim Harbaugh). He plans on bringing you the best news, previews, recaps, and anything else that may come along with the exciting world of the National Football League. Danny is a freelance writer covering all things NFL. His work can be found on Examiner.com.

Danny Cox knows a little something about the NFL, whether it means letting you know what penalty will come from the flag just thrown on the field or quickly spouting off who the Chicago Bears drafted in the first round of the 1987 draft (Jim Harbaugh). He plans on bringing you the best news, previews, recaps, and anything else that may come along with the exciting world of the National Football League. Danny is a freelance writer covering all things NFL. His work can be found on Examiner.com.

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