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Panthers vs Titans: Defensive Preview

The Panthers have their second best chance to win this weekend!

Syndication: The Tennessean George Walker IV / The Tennessean / USA TODAY NETWORK

The Panthers defense continues its struggles with injuries, however they get a good matchup this week against another rookie QB and a suspect offensive line. Let’s dive into how the defense can win this week.

  • Do whatever is necessary to stop Derrick Henry: The Panthers rushing defense has been suspect all season. This is not a secret. While the Titans overall statistics as far as running the ball goes aren’t world beaters, with their 4.4 yards per rush (11th in the league) topping the list, everything else is relatively mediocre. Still, with rookie QB Will Levis and a passing attack headed by older WR DeAndre Hopkins, a smart gameplan would be to lean on Derrick Henry. The Panthers have struggled against the run all season as their defense isn’t built to fight a power rushing attack. Do everything you can.
  • It would be cool if Jaycee Horn played THIS week: With CJ Henderson still recovering from a concussion, there’s a strong chance the Panthers will once again be shorthanded in the secondary. Horn practiced in a limited fashion on Wednesday. He is currently on his way back from a severe hamstring injury. The Panthers face a Titans offense that lacks weapons, however Will Levis has been known to air it out when allowed to in his first few starts. Having Horn back would give the Panthers a bit more stability as he can shadow DeAndre Hopkins, or whatever wide receiver the Titans deem fit to be their top option. If Horn can’t play, the Panthers will be out Dicaprio Bootle and potentially Henderson once again. Which could be rough.
  • Pass rush, get after it: The Titans offensive line has been about as bad as it gets in the pass blocking department. Their sack percentage is 10.80%, good for 31st in the league. Panthers fans have grown accustomed to opposing defenses getting after Bryce Young, so this could be a war of attrition in that department, as both defenses appear primed for some good pass rushing reps. If the Panthers could get Marquis Haynes back this week after missing last week, a pairing with Brian Burns could be huge as it would be their first time sharing the field this season.

What are you looking for, Panthers fans? And Happy Thanksgiving!