4 reasons the Panthers are clueless without Christian McCaffrey

Dean Jones
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Christian McCaffrey
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Christian McCaffrey /
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Why are the Carolina Panthers still clueless about how to cope with the services of running back Christian McCaffrey in their lineup?

There hasn’t been much to shout about for the Carolina Panthers in recent weeks. A promising start to the 2021 season in the face of inferior opposition left many wondering if Matt Rhule could lead this team to the postseason in only his second year, but this notion has been squashed in no uncertain terms over a disastrous four-game stretch.

The Panthers are 0-4 over the last month, culminating in one of the most embarrassing defeats in franchise history at the New York Giants in Week 7. Probably not coincidentally, Carolina hasn’t won a contest since Christian McCaffrey suffered a hamstring injury at the Houston Texans on Thursday Night Football.

McCaffrey – who is now on the reserve/injured list after pushing himself to come back too soon – has missed 17 of the last 23 games over this season and last. However, the Panthers appear lost without the All-Pro despite this becoming the norm of late.

With this in mind, we took a look at four reasons why the Panthers are still clueless in McCaffrey’s absence.

Reason No. 1

Christian McCaffrey
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Christian McCaffrey /

An extreme over-reliance on Christian McCaffrey

It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that the Panthers are far too reliant on Christian McCaffrey. Not only is he expected to set the tone running the football, but his exceptional ability to get open quickly makes him the league’s best dual-threat back when firing on all cylinders.

However, the best availability is availability.

Something that McCaffrey just hasn’t been able to manage on a consistent basis.

There are no alternative means of offensive progression without McCaffrey. It seems as if Carolina put all their chips into the middle regarding the former first-round pick staying healthy for a full 17-game campaign – a gamble that’s backfired in a big way.

Perhaps there is no team outside of the Tennessee Titans more reliant on their running back. That has to change.