4 critical factors that will determine successful Panthers season in 2022

(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Ikem Ekwonu
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Ikem Ekwonu /
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Carolina Panthers
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Derrick Brown /

Carolina Panthers must defend the run better

A major factor of whether or not the Carolina Panthers will have a winning season will depend on how well the defense plays against the run.

Last season, the Panthers had a solid defense overall. They ranked second in total yards allowed with 305 but ranked 20th in points surrendered per game at 23.8.

The majority of the defense’s flaws were related to the run game. Carolina was able to get to the quarterback and cover successfully, but gap discipline became an issue down the stretch and something that needs to get better this time around.

Not all of last season’s woes were the defense’s fault. The offense turned the ball over – often in their own territory – leading to an easy score. Three and outs right after the defense came off of the field was not exactly ideal from a conditioning standpoint, either.

The Panthers added a piece that should help stop the run in Matt Ioannidis. He’s an experienced player and could definitely help the team with their run defense.

Fans are expecting Derrick Brown to take a big step forward this season and become a key piece when it comes to stopping the run. If the Panthers are able to be successful on early downs, then they could emerge as an elite unit.