3 reasons the Carolina Panthers can beat the Vikings in Week 6

(Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports) Chuba Hubbard
(Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports) Chuba Hubbard /
2 of 4
Carolina Panthers
(Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports) Chuba Hubbard /

Carolina Panthers can take advantage of the Vikings run defense

If there has been one “weakness” on the Minnesota Vikings’ defense this season, it has been its inability to shut down the run. They have not held their opponents under 100 yards rushing in a single game this season, and are allowing an average of 130 yards per matchup, which ranks near the bottom third in the league.

With that being said, the Carolina Panthers will need to play off of their rushing attack this weekend, especially with Minnesota currently ranking second in the NFL in sacks.

It’s become clear that opposing defenses are daring quarterback Sam Darnold to beat them with his arm, so to take some of the pressure off of him. Carolina needs to establish the ground game early.

It’s obvious that defenses have been ramping up the pressure on Darnold over the past few weeks, and too often the pressure has forced the same mistakes that plagued his time with the New York Jets.

Darnold has thrown five interceptions in the last two games, which coincidentally have been the two contests that Christian McCaffrey has missed.

If the Panthers are looking for a recipe to win, then they should prepare a gameplan similar to what the Cleveland Browns did in Week 4.

The Browns dominated time of possession in that game–despite lackluster quarterback play –thanks in large part to 184 rushing yards to keep the chains and the clock moving. It will be harder to do without McCaffrey, but rookie Chuba Hubbard has shown that he is capable of carrying the load.

Matt Rhule was optimistic that McCaffrey would be back against Minnesota, but as the week dragged on, it appeared less likely that that would be the case and he was eventually ruled out on Friday. Hubbard has performed well in his two starts since the All-Pro’s injury, piling up 205 total yards during those games.