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Coach Matt Rhule wants the Carolina Panthers to run the ball more

Carolina Panthers running back Chuba Hubbard (30) runs through an opening in the line during an...
Carolina Panthers running back Chuba Hubbard (30) runs through an opening in the line during an NFL football game against the Philadelphia Eagles, Sunday, Oct. 10, 2021, in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/Brian Westerholt)(Brian Westerholt | AP)
Published: Oct. 18, 2021 at 7:10 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - When you think of the Carolina Panthers, what is their identity?  We know they play good defense, but who are they offensively? 

You don’t know? Neither do they as coach Rhule was pondering that after Sunday’s loss to Minnesota. That was the team’s 3rd straight defeat after a 3-0 start, but that is going to change in week 7 says coach.

“We have not been committed enough to running it and that’s going to change-- I can tell you that right now,” said Panthers head coach Matt Rhule. “You’ll see a vastly different look moving forward.”

In yesterday’s loss to the Vikings, Panthers quarterback Sam Darnold threw the ball 41 times and only completed 17.  Sure there were a lot of drops in the game, but throwing it 41 times and not completing a higher number is not a recipe for winning for any team in the NFL and that includes the Panthers.

So after looking at it, the only way to correct that is by running the ball more and even without Christian McCaffrey, who is currently on the IR with a hamstring injury, the Panthers can still tote the rock effectively.

“Chuba (Hubbard) is showing us that he can run the ball at a high level when given enough opportunities,” said coach.

Hubbard ran the ball only 16 times Sunday against the Vikings for 61 yards and a rushing touchdown.

Coach says he would like to see the Panthers run it 30 to 33 times per game as a team and that will solve a few problems for this offense.

The Panthers O-Line has struggled in pass protection the last 3 weeks of this losing streak.

During that time, Darnold has been sacked 12 times and that constant pressure has led to 6 interceptions.

In that same time, as a team, the Panthers are averaging 4.46 yards per carry. Hubbard in that same time period is averaging 4.13 yards per carry.

The answer for the Panthers is quite simple, run the ball more. Focus more on your strength. If they do, they may be able to turn this season around.

“We don’t need to panic. We don’t need to throw the baby out with the bath water. We are 3-3. We are going to redefine who we are and we are going to run the football. We are going to protect our quarterback. We are not going to turn the ball over anymore. That’s the only way we are going to win. We got to get that done this week.

It all sounds good but the execution of this team has been terrible the last 3 week. So we will see Sunday if this new identity on offense shows up Sunday against the New York Giants.

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