4 primary factors behind Carolina Panthers incredible Week 7 turnaround

(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) P.J. Walker
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) P.J. Walker /
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Carolina Panthers
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Frankie Luvu /

Carolina Panthers defense was elite

Over the last three seasons, the Carolina Panthers have built a great defense. One that is often put in terrible positions by injuries or an incapable offense.

It seemed under Matt Rhule the defense had let go of the rope a bit, giving up on an offense that hurt the team more often than it helped. That all changed in Week 7 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Steve Wilks’ appointment has brought a newfound approach and the defensive energy has surged as a result. Tom Brady and the Bucs are struggling on offense, but they still have elite wide receivers and on paper, this represented a tough challenge for the Panthers and something that was reflected in the pre-game odds.

Carolina’s defense shut down the Bucs and gave the Panthers’ offense three quarters to figure it out and pull away. Brian Burns added a sack and the entire unit came up with an impressive fourth-down stand that seemed to end the game way ahead of time.

If Carolina’s defense plays at this level going forward, the team is going to have a chance to pull off consistent upsets this season and perhaps even factor into a division that is wide open. A remarkable notion considering how bad things were over the opening six weeks.

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