Establish the running game
One of the main keys to victory for the Carolina Panthers is to establish the running game early on. This might be more difficult without the services of star player Christian McCaffrey. But Mike Davis proved to be more than a capable backup in the All-Pro’s absence.
Davis is never going to get the volume of carries and catches McCaffrey accumulates during a game. However, all the Panthers need from the veteran is to be productive with the ball in his hands and provide Teddy Bridgewater with a reliable catching presence out of the backfield in order to move the chains.
This is something that we have seen plenty of over the last two weeks. Davis has amassed 166 yards from scrimmage this season, which has also resulted in 5.5 yards-per-touch.
If the back can gain some notable yardage during the opening exchanges, then it should open up more holes in the passing game. The Cardinals are unlikely to stack the box without McCaffrey to worry about, but they should ignore Davis at their peril.
Keeping the Cardinals’ outstanding pass-rushers honest will only come from getting the run going. Davis has hit the ground running in 2020 after an outstanding training camp that secured his $3 million in base salary when it looked like it might go the other way prior to team drills, and how he performs in this one is sure to have a huge say on proceedings.