5 burning questions Carolina Panthers fans are asking entering the Week 7 bye

Carolina Panthers fans have questions. And righfully so...

Chuba Hubbard
Chuba Hubbard / Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports
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Chuba Hubbard, the Carolina Panthers new RB1?

Why isn’t Chuba Hubbard our number 1 running back? - Anthony Starnes

After a game where he ran for 88 yards and less than five yards per carry, Chuba Hubbard made the Carolina Panthers ground game as efficient as it had been since Week 1 against the Atlanta Falcons. In my opinion, he has solidified himself as this team's top running back heading into the bye.

It has been tremendous to see the growth Hubbard has had in the last few years. There was a time when No. 30 would fail to keep balance simply from being touched, at least that's what it was like during his rookie year.

However, the former Oklahoma State star has improved in all areas of his game. These include contact balance, patience, vision, pass protection, and receiving ability.

Against the Miami Dolphins, Hubbard held his own in pass protection, stonewalling blitzing defenders almost consistently. There is a notable growth in added strength and power in the lower half, allowing him to not only anchor better but to gain an extra two to three yards on every run.

Hubbard has become the hot hand. Depending on the severity of Laviska Shenault Jr.'s ankle injury, Raheem Blackshear could also see his role expanded as a receiver and rotational presence. He could see more playing time in the future depending on what Thomas Brown wants to do from a gameplan perspective.

As for Miles Sanders, I do hope he finds himself a role in the running back room following Hubbard's emergence. He still has a skill set that makes him valuable as a receiver in the passing game. Even so, his vision as a runner and decision-making have been less than ideal.

What happens with the former Philadelphia Eagle will be something to watch in the weeks to come. For now, expect Hubbard to continue getting a majority of the touches.