Carolina Panthers: 4 new battles to watch against the Falcons

Dean Jones
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(Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images) Todd Gurley /

Carolina Panthers Matchup No. 2: Kawann Short/Derrick Brown vs Todd Gurley

The Atlanta Falcons made a notable free-agent addition in the form of running back Todd Gurley. This could be a masterstroke from the organization if the two-time All-Pro gets back to his best. But it remains to be seen whether the wear and tear of playing such a brutal position have taken its toll.

Gurley could be a real difference-maker for the Falcons if they manage him correctly. But he might find yards hard to come by during their two matchups in 2020 with the Carolina Panthers.

This is down in no small part to the presence of Kawann Short and No. 7 overall pick Derrick Brown on the defensive line interior. Carolina’s run defense was abysmal in 2019. But having the veteran Pro Bowler back at full health is a massive boost.

Short will also have the benefit of another space-eater alongside him in Brown. The former Auburn standout comes into the NFL with a Pro Bowl ceiling. And this duo has the scope to completely transform the Panthers’ fortunes in this area of the field.

Related Story. Carolina Panthers: How Kawann Short can help Derrick Brown. light

Gurley is going to find runs hard to come by in between the tackles when he collides with Short and Brown. The back is immensely hard to bring down in full flow. But his final season with the Los Angeles Rams leaves plenty of questions surrounding his ability to make a real go of things in a different environment.