5 huge concerns facing the Carolina Panthers in Week 1 vs. Browns

(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Matt Rhule
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Matt Rhule /
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Carolina Panthers
(Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports) Matt Ioannidis /

Can the Carolina Panthers stop Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt?

With Jacoby Brissett under center for the Cleveland Browns, it’s going to alter their game plan even more towards running the football. Something the Carolina Panthers must be ready for in no uncertain terms.

Nick Chubb and Kareen Hunt are a dynamic tandem among the league’s best. Cleveland also has a formidable offensive line, but Jack Conklin is listed as questionable for the clash.

Carolina gave up 108.4 rushing yards per game last season – ranked No. 20 across the NFL. There’s also no guarantee anything will get better in this area of the field after losing DaQuan Jones and Haason Reddick in free agency, either.

Matt Ioannidis and Derrick Brown will be tasked with clogging space and anchoring the defensive line. The Panthers also need better gap discipline from Brian Burns and Yetur Gross-Matos to solidify the wall in front of Cleveland’s rushing attack.

The linebacker trio of Damien Wilson, Shaq Thompson, and Frankie Luvu should provide enough energy at the second level. But there’s no doubt Chubb and Hunt are difficult to stop when they generate some momentum.

This is the key to the game beyond question. Whether the Panthers have enough to thwart this significant threat is another matter.