3 keys to victory for the Carolina Panthers vs. Texans in Week 8

It's now or never for the Carolina Panthers...
Hayden Hurst
Hayden Hurst / Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
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Carolina Panthers must get Hayden Hurst involved early

When will the Carolina Panthers finally find the answer for their tight end problem?

Ever since Greg Olsen left the team, there has been a void at tight end that has never effectively been filled and only continues to be a thorn in the side of every fan. Hayden Hurst was supposed to finally change that, but things have not exactly turned out this way.

Hurst has been an afterthought this season ever since a promising start in Week 1. Hauling in only 14 catches for just over 100 yards is nowhere near the kind of production the team hoped for.

Especially when you consider over 50 of those yards came in Week 1 alone.

A lot of this is down to scheme and hopefully, that will change on Sunday. As one thing that the Houston Texans have struggled with is protecting against tight ends in the middle of the field.

Hurst is the only target the Panthers have at the position and it really isn't even close. Tommy Tremble was always seen as more of a blocker and Ian Thomas is on injured/reserve and will not be playing.

If nothing else, the threat of a tight end that is effective will require some attention from the defense. This will naturally help to open up other aspects of the offense like the run game and the deep ball. Both things that the Panthers have struggled mightily with so far this year.

The Panthers' passing attack has not been inspiring this year. Getting Hurst going will go a long way toward changing that.

And who knows, it might even turn this game into the team's favor when all is said and done.