3 ways the Panthers can beat the Bucs without Christian McCaffrey

(Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports) Christian McCaffrey
(Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports) Christian McCaffrey /
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Christian McCaffrey
(Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports) Teddy Bridgewater /

Take risks in the passing game

With Christian McCaffrey unable to take the field in Week 10, the primary focus will immediately return to the passing game. Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater looked visibly more relaxed with the former Stanford product alongside him in the backfield at the Chiefs, which played a leading role in the Carolina Panthers gaining an eye-popping 457 yards of total offense during their hard-fought defeat.

This will be a confidence boost for Bridgewater, who has been hit and miss during the team’s four-game losing streak. His inability to get the Panthers over the line in close games is hurting the team and the longer this goes on, the more questions will emerge surrounding his long-term aspirations with the franchise.

Bridgewater has an embarrassment of riches in the passing game even without the best dual-threat running back in the NFL. Given they’re currently sitting at 3-6 and with little in the way of hope regarding an unlikely playoff berth, there might not be a better time for offensive coordinator Joe Brady to release the shackles and start taking more risks down the field.

It’s not like Bridgewater isn’t moving the ball efficiently. He is currently No. 5 in the NFL in passing yards gained and is having a better season than many expected. But getting his team over the hump will be even more pivotal with the normally dependable McCaffrey missing out once again.