4 keys to victory for the Panthers against the Raiders in Week 1

(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) D.J. Moore
(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) D.J. Moore /
4 of 5
Carolina Panthers
(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Teddy Bridgewater /

Make play-action plays count

Christian McCaffrey will be the focal point for opposing defenses throughout the 2020 season. He is the NFL’s best dual-threat weapon and has earned this sort of respect after a phenomenal first three years in the league.

This is something that the Carolina Panthers might use to their advantage when they come up against the Raiders on Sunday. Jon Gruden will stack the box for as long as the game is close to prevent McCaffrey from making a significant impression and this should free up space for the dynamic wide receivers at their disposal.

If McCaffrey can gain some notable yards on the first few drives, then Joe Brady will be able to use play-action successfully. There are endless possibilities for production when it comes to this method and it will be up to the Panthers to get the ball into the hands of D.J. Moore, Curtis Samuel, and Robby Anderson early and often.

Much will depend on how Carolina’s offensive line holds up and whether Teddy Bridgewater can get enough time to go through the process involved in play-action. The Raiders boast some speedy rushers off the edge who can get in the backfield quickly, so the signal-caller will need to be sharp and the timing has to be on point.

If the Panthers can make the most of this, then it could result in the offense putting up some significant points.