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December 29, 2013

With Smith out, Panthers could go run-heavy vs. Falcons


The Panthers' three injured starters highlight the inactive list for Sunday's game against the Falcons.

In addition to the injured trio of WR Steve Smith, RB Jonathan Stewart and DT Colin Cole, the Panthers' other inactives are WR Tavarres King, backup LB Dan Connor, OL Travis Bond and CB Josh Norman.

Smith, missing his first game in three seasons with a sprained left knee, made the trip to Atlanta, which should help the sideline morale and energy.

While much of the attention this week has focused on how receivers Brandon LaFell, Ted Ginn Jr. and Domenik Hixon will fare in Smith's absence, the key for the Panthers very well could be running backs DeAngelo Williams and Mike Tolbert and tight end Greg Olsen.

The Falcons have the league's second-worst rushing defense, allowing 135.9 yards a game.

And Olsen, the team's leading receiver, has proven all year to be a dependable target for Cam Newton.

Newton's ankle also will need to be watched closely. After twisting his ankle last week against New Orleans, Newton's mobility was clearly affected.

Newton has insisted his ankle is fine. But if he tweaks it, Ron Rivera has said the Panthers might have to alter the game plan.

Again, that likely means pounding the ball in the run game.

--Joseph Person

Posted by Observer Sports on December 29, 2013 at 11:43 AM | Permalink


weve got to block better and get some rythum with quick plays and screens,we need this game .

Posted by: joe | Dec 29, 2013 1:20:06 PM

Shula youve got to get us into this game, ADJUSTMENTS...ADJUSTMENTS..LAFELL SHOULD OF HAD THAT CATCH....

Posted by: Anonymous | Dec 29, 2013 1:24:15 PM


Posted by: Anonymous | Dec 29, 2013 1:26:56 PM

were is the underneath route ,all the passing plays are 3 yards down field ,,why isnt a receiver designated for a slant while the others go deep ???????????SHULA WAKE UP

Posted by: Anonymous | Dec 29, 2013 1:34:08 PM

Uh where's Charles Johnson been? Today? Last week?

Posted by: paul | Dec 29, 2013 1:57:31 PM

weve got to take advantage of our opportunities on offense.we must execute our plays and throw accurately .we need a scoring drive now....

Posted by: Anonymous | Dec 29, 2013 3:37:02 PM

wasted pass to lafell when we had a receiver open underneath....dose not make sense unless Cam is told who to throw to on every play .....he did not read the defense cause if he had we would of went underneath and got a first down....Makes no sense at alll........

Posted by: Anonymous | Dec 29, 2013 3:48:22 PM

will be lucky to get another shot in this game ....Cam its on you and your incomplete passes.....I love this team but I dont understand the inconsistantcy on offense ,Cam needs talked to if were to compete in the playoffs....opportunities will be scarce...

Posted by: Anonymous | Dec 29, 2013 3:54:35 PM

now less hope our defense can play lights out and get us the win...

Posted by: Anonymous | Dec 29, 2013 3:59:00 PM

wish we would of tried play action on 2nd down.

Posted by: Anonymous | Dec 29, 2013 3:59:33 PM


Posted by: Anonymous | Dec 29, 2013 4:00:25 PM

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