4 things Matt Rhule must get right against the Buccaneers

(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Matt Rhule
(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Matt Rhule /
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Carolina Panthers
(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Christian McCaffrey /

Christian McCaffrey’s usage

There was a hot topic for discussion regarding the way Christian McCaffrey was used against the Raiders. The All-Pro running back saw little in the way of touches in the first half before becoming the focal point of an offense that moved the ball well after the break.

One would have thought that the Carolina Panthers might be better off pounding McCaffrey early in the game to open up passing lanes and possible play-action calls. The former first-round pick did manage to log 26 combined touches. But the way he was utilized was strange, to say the least.

The Panthers need to take the heat off their suspect defense in Week 2 when they come up against a Buccaneers attack that is loaded with weapons. Even if stud wide receiver Chris Godwin misses the game with a concussion, they still have more than enough to cause Carolina substantial problems.

Obviously the best way to prevent this is to keep them off the field. Matt Rhule needs to be wary of controlling the clock as well as making inroads in terms of yardage and it would prudent to get the ball in McCaffrey’s hands early and often.

Rhule came under criticism for not implementing this method against the Raiders. But it is hard to argue that their initial drives weren’t full or promise and resulted in three straight where they put points on the board.