Last week we talked about the only way the Carolina Panthers were going to beat the Dallas Cowboys was if they finally got their running game on track. That did kind of happen. The Panthers kept it a one score game into the fourth quarter while posting just their third highest rushing total and just their fifth 100-yard rushing game on the season.
That was a path to winning because it was supposed to also reduce some of the pressure on Bryce Young to perform heroics in the passing game. Instead, pressure derailed the entire passing game to the point that, all heroics aside, Young could barely take a snap without a defender in his face.
The unfortunate cost of that, uh, superlative effort on the ground was that right guard Austin Corbett is headed back to injured reserve and Chandler Zavala remains the team’s best, or at least healthiest, guard. Any offensive production against the Tennessee Titans this weekend is going to be a surprise.
The Panthers path to victory this week lies, instead, through their defense. Ejiro Evero’s unit has been the most consistent and least healthy side of the ball that the Panthers have to show. This week, Jaycee Horn is practicing with the team while Yetur Gross-Matos and Jeremy Chinn have been designated to return from injured reserve. That brings us to the highly conditional path to a Panthers victory as follows:
IF all of those guys are back on the field AND Will Levis continues to make rookie mistakes behind his own dumpster fire offensive line THEN the Panthers might win.
That’s it guys. That’s as much optimism as I can summon for you. Remember, bet the under and never count on the Panthers to produce positive statistics.