Miles Sanders - Carolina Panthers RB
Man, what a miss by the Carolina Panthers. So far, anyway.
The team brought over running back Miles Sanders from the Philadelphia Eagles in free agency. He signed a four-year, $25.4 million deal, rushing for 302 yards on 97 carries this year,.
Sanders averaged five yards per carry during the first four years of his career with the Eagles. In contrast, he's averaging just 3.1 yards per carry in 2023 with the Panthers.
First of all, I don't think that Sanders has all of a sudden fallen off a cliff and hit the inevitable running back wall. I think much of it is due to the scheme that Frank Reich tried to run, and the poor offensive line play that has come from that.
Sanders isn't going anywhere in 2024. His contract doesn't yet allow it.
In the downhill running attack that the Eagles ran for years, Sanders thrived. I'd expect and hope that the next coaching staff in Carolina makes life a bit easier for Bryce Young. That'll come from making the run game a higher priority.
Just look at the Denver Broncos, for example. A huge reason for their recent success has been an obvious effort to prioritize the run more.
Head coach Sean Payton has played to the strengths of his players along the offensive line. The Broncos' offensive line ranks fourth in run-block win rate, according to ESPN. That's what those across the unit do best.
We'll see personnel changes along the offensive line in 2024. We'll also likely see Sanders benefit from being in a more favorable offensive scheme than the disaster this season.