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
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Ian Thomas /

Attack the middle

The Broncos do have some good outside cornerbacks and safeties who can make big plays at will. But there do appear to be some soft spots over the middle that can be exposed.

Denver’s problems don’t necessarily stem from the defensive side of the ball. One only has to look at how hard Patrick Mahomes had to work for yardage last time out to see that. And it will be up to offensive coordinator Joe Brady to come up with the right gameplan that gives the Carolina Panthers a solid chance of picking up their fifth win of the season.

Teddy Bridgewater might not have Curtis Samuel and D.J. Moore, who are on the reserve/COVID-19 list and in Moore’s case, he is also dealing with an ankle injury suffered in their loss at the Vikings.

There are also some increasing concerns about the status of Christian McCaffrey, who is now dealing with a quad injury that the team is taking one step at a time.

Risking the All-Pro running back with very little to play clearly wouldn’t be smart and not having him in the backfield would be another devastating blow to a starting lineup that is set to look completely different in certain areas.

This might be the time for Ian Thomas to finally stand up and be counted. The tight end has been a relative afterthought through the first 12 games and this is a trend that needs to halt against the Broncos.