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How the Panthers can win in Week 13

Finding the very narrow slice of future that lies between the likely and the possible

Carolina Panthers v Tampa Bay Buccaneers Photo by Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images

So far, a column talking about how the Panthers can win a game has not had the greatest track record. I hope that doesn’t come as a shock to many of you. It’s hard to write a preview for this team that doesn’t tell bettors to take their money and run for the hills. It’s hard to write any preview for this team that can keep abreast of their breathless injury pace.

The only path the Carolina Panthers have to victory is through their offense. Points matter and the defense, while stout, isn’t even scoring them against rookie quarterbacks let alone against such savvy veterans as Baker Mayfield. Bryce Young and company need to find ways to score points.

Whether that is with the “free and loose” style that offensive coordinator Thomas Brown promised this week, through leaning on the kind of run pass options that Frank Reich apparently had banned, or through some other black magic. This isn’t high level analysis. It’s just a basic fact.

How they’re going to do this is impossible to predict in a week with this much potential for change. But it is the only path forward. The first question for fans and bettors alike is whether or not you believe this team can change. The second is whether or not you think they will.

I think that they can. I hope that they will. I’m taking heart from the Pittsburgh Steelers impressive, yet simple turn around last week. There is precedent for significant change in such a short period of time and I think the Panthers have the edge at quarterback if we’re comparing their situations.

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