Stopping the run
If the Carolina Panthers want to stop Tom Brady from becoming the difference in their Week 2 matchup, then they need to limit his options. This means stopping the run at all costs and put the game in the quarterback’s hands, so to speak.
The Buccaneers do have some potential at the running back position in Ronald Jones, free-agent signing Leonard Fournette, LeSean McCoy, and rookie Ke’Shawn Vaughn. This is an embarrassment of riches that can also be utilised in the passing game of the situation presents itself.
The Panthers need to improve a run defense that Josh Jacobs ran all over in Week 1. Their inability to set the edge allowed the former Alabama standout all the room he needed to make a serious difference. But no Bucs’ back appears to have the same sort of explosiveness.
Stopping the run would limit play-action efficiency and put even more pressure on Brady to move the chains. It’s difficult to knock a guy who has done so much throughout his career. But father time is undefeated and it is hard to deny that the cracks are starting to show.
Brady figures to rely on his run game heavily early on against the Panthers. This is down in no small part to the yardage gained by Jacobs last week. And how Carolina’s defensive front responds to the challenge is going to be critical.