4 keys to victory for the Panthers vs. the Broncos in Week 14

(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Ian Thomas
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Ian Thomas /
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Carolina Panthers
(Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports) Melvin Gordon /

Stop the run

The problems Denver is having from the quarterback position are well documented. However, their running game remains dangerous if not given the proper respect and this is something they’ll probably lean on heavily this weekend.

Melvin Gordon was a big-money signing in free agency who is coming off his best game of the season against the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs, where the running back secured 131 yards from 15 carries.

The Carolina Panthers might be without the services of starting defensive tackle duo Derrick Brown and Zach Kerr, who remain on the reserve/COVID-19 list. This would represent a significant blow in their bid to stop not only Gordon but also the elusive Phillip Lindsay, who is a dual-threat back that can make things happen in space.

Taking away the run and putting the game in Drew Lock’s hands will be the best way to go. Gordon is coming into the game high on confidence and will see this as a real opportunity to boost his 2020 numbers against Carolina’s depleted defensive front.

The likes of Bravvion Roy and Efe Obada need to play well with more responsibility on their shoulders. There is also the option of activating Woodrow Hamilton from the practice squad, who performed capably when called upon earlier this season.