4 keys to victory for the Panthers against the Bucs in Week 2

(Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images) Tre Boston
(Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images) Tre Boston /
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Carolina Panthers
(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Juston Burris /

Stop the run

The Carolina Panthers were one of the NFL’s worst at stopping the run in 2019. This does not appear to be something they have fixed in the preparation period if their Week 1 outing against the Raiders was any indication.

Josh Jacobs ran all over the Panthers, scoring three touchdowns in the process. Jon Gruden realized quickly that going up the middle with Kawann Short and Derrick Brown on the interior wasn’t going to bring much joy. But once they started calling outside blocking schemes for the former Alabama standout, they began to make some serious inroads.

If the Panthers don’t want this to become an ongoing problem yet again, they will need to turn the screw against a Bucs’ running corps that boasts plenty of talent.

Ronald Jones is the starter and has plenty of useful traits to call upon. The Bucs also have the luxury of two experienced performers in LeSean McCoy and Leonard Fournette to call upon when required. So the Panthers will need to be at their very best to avoid the same fate they suffered during their opening fixture.

This has to be a collective effort from the front seven. The defensive front needs to do a better job of setting the edge when a run is called and the linebacker group has to find better angles on their way to the point of attack.

Should they manage to do this, it will be a massive bonus. Putting the game in Tom Brady’s hands might be the best chance of victory and the run defense needs to set the tone early on to make this happen.