3 crucial matchups that will decide Carolina Panthers vs. Texans in Week 8

The Carolina Panthers have to win in Week 8...
Bryce Young
Bryce Young / Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
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Carolina Panthers OLB Brian Burns vs. Laremy Tunsil

It is high time that Brian Burns showed the kind of impact the young defensive standout wants to be compensated to provide.

Burns only has four sacks on the season. Some of this can be attributed to a lack of coverage potential from the secondary, but the point still stands that this team needs more from its defensive star.

One of the last men standing on the Carolina Panthers defense is the only thing that can turn things around at this point. Pressure can win games, especially against a young quarterback, but unless Burns can somehow find that spark again there is no one else that can truly affect the game in any meaningful way aside from perhaps Derrick Brown.

Gross-Matos and Marquis Haynes Sr. are both sitting on injured/reserve and Justin Houston has been an afterthought. There is no depth left on this defensive front and even the starters have struggled. This cannot win football games.

Laremy Tunsil has been a high-profile name in the league for many years now and has stood up reasonably well all things considered. The left tackle is at his best when going against a power-type rusher, someone who runs through their opposition instead of around them but struggles against a more finesse-based attack.

Something that Burns excels at.

Get Tunsil off balance and out of rhythm and you have a chance. There is an opportunity to exploit a weakness here, but can Burns do it?