4 bold predictions for the Carolina Panthers vs. Texans in Week 8

Time to go bold...

D.J. Johnson
D.J. Johnson / Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports
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Carolina Panthers RB Miles Sanders gains 75+ rushing yards

Large sections of the team's fanbase have already written off Miles Sanders' chances of making a serious impression. The running back didn't perform up to the required standard before the bye week, but there are some mitigating factors attached to his poor production that deserve consideration.

First, the former second-round selection was dealing with groin and shoulder issues. He soldiered on despite being banged up, but it's clear this was impacting Sanders' burst and explosiveness to go through running lanes for big yardage.

Another obstacle was the bland schematic concepts deployed by Frank Reich. Sanders has never been the sort of back to plow through between the tackles, so why the Carolina Panthers felt the need to constantly call such plays for him was a frustrating mystery.

Sanders was the first to admit that he should be doing better this week. But with Thomas Brown now assuming play-calling duties and the Penn State product getting plenty of time to heal, we might just see a different player moving forward.

There is the small matter of Chuba Hubbard's growth that could hinder Sanders in terms of volume. However, there's also a good chance Brown will start playing to his strengths rather than trying to accommodate him into an already devised system.

It's a long shot to most, but we're going bold and predicting a breakout game for Sanders in Week 8 against the Houston Texans, who are giving up 108.5 yards per game on the ground.