4 pivotal Carolina Panthers storylines to watch at Falcons in Week 8

(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Steve Wilks
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Steve Wilks /
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Carolina Panthers
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) D’Onta Foreman /

D’Onta Foreman’s first Carolina Panthers start

After getting minimal opportunities under previous head coach Matt Rhule, the Carolina Panthers put much more on D’Onta Foreman‘s plate in Week 7 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Chuba Hubbard was listed as the starter, but the former Texas star got a significant amount of work and proved more than capable of carrying the load in Christian McCaffrey’s absence.

Foreman ended the contest with 118 rushing yards from 15 carries, including a huge 60-yard gain. The Panthers will need him more than ever at the Atlanta Falcons with Hubbard missing the game through injury, so how the player performs will go a long way to determining the overall outcome.

As stated previously, the Falcons are ranked No. 7 league-wide in rushing yards conceded per game. Steve Wilks brought up Spencer Brown from the practice squad and has Raheem Blackshear as another option, but it would be a huge shock if Foreman wasn’t the bell cow during what’s expected to be a physical encounter with lots on the line.

This is a task Foreman did well on the Tennessee Titans in 2021 when Derrick Henry was forced to miss an extended period. Carolina’s offensive line must also live up to their newfound standards, but hopes are high that the Panthers can set the tone running the football to open things up elsewhere.

Foreman has the talent and momentum. Something the Panthers will need from start to finish in Week 8 during his first official competitive start since joining in free agency.