4 burning questions Carolina Panthers fans are asking ahead of Week 1

(Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports) Derrick Brown
(Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports) Derrick Brown /
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Carolina Panthers
(Scott Galvin-USA TODAY Sports) Nick Chubb /

Can the Carolina Panthers contain Nick Chubb?

How will Carolina’s run defense attempt to slow down Nick Chubb? – @rvarner on Twitter

Thank you for the response, @rvarner!

Not only do the Carolina Panthers have to defend Nick Chubb, but they also have to keep Kareem Hunt quiet as well. This is a tough task for any defense.

Cleveland will likely deploy a lot of wide and inside zone plays along with some mix of power/gap concepts. This means we’ll see plenty of Damien Wilson, Shaq Thompson, and Frankie Luvu roam around the second level and attack downhill with their customary closing burst and physicality.

The Panthers improved the physicality of their defense with the addition of safety Xavier Woods from the Minnesota Vikings in free agency and defensive tackle Matt Ioannidis once he was let go by the Washington Commanders.

Both provide plenty of pop and penetration in the run game. If you ever watch Woods come down the alley at full speed, he’s going to lay the boom on you and potentially cause a turnover for good measure.

I would expect the Panthers to try and set the tone against the run early and often. In wide zone plays, it’s important to get penetration and set a firm edge early in the rep, especially on the backside.

Hunt and Chubb are masters at pressing the line of scrimmage and then cutting back inside towards the backside of the play. So this is a threat the Panthers have to take extremely seriously.