5 bold predictions for the Carolina Panthers at Texans in Week 3

(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Christian McCaffrey
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Christian McCaffrey /
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Carolina Panthers
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Dan Arnold /

Carolina Panthers TE Dan Arnold scores his first TD

Week 1 for Dan Arnold was a feeling-out process of sorts. The offense didn’t really open up and Sam Darnold used his swiss-army knife running back, Christian McCaffrey, on several occasions. Because why not.

Arnold saw little action, to the tune of two receptions for six yards.

It was not until Week 2 against the New Orleans Saints where Arnold showed off some of his pass-catching traits. He finished the afternoon with three receptions for 55 yards and flashed open a couple of times on third downs to keep drives alive.

Any Carolina Panthers fan who has watched the first two games of the season has noticed the struggles so far in the red zone. For as great as McCaffrey is as an all-around running back, he does not flash a big frame you tend to see deep in the red zone when offenses shove the ball up the middle looking for points.

This is where the 6-foot-6, 240 pounds Arnold comes in.

The Panthers did find the end zone in Week 2 when they spread the field and put McCaffrey out wide. This is where I see Darnold factoring into the equation.

Look for Carolina to use some of that running scheme they have shown in the red zone during the early part of the season. But also use play-action to find Arnold in the end zone for what hopefully is the first of many scores.