Carolina Panthers' Run Game Versus Arizona Cardinal's Defense: What to Expect

Chris PistoneCorrespondent IOctober 22, 2008

The Carolina Panthers and the Arizona Cardinals will face off this Sunday in what should prove to be an interesting game.  Both teams have lost only 2 games so far this season (though the Panthers have one extra win since they have yet to reach their bye week) and both teams are currently playoff contenders.

The deciding factor of the game this Sunday is going to be how well the Panthers are able to run the ball against Arizona's defense.  Carolina head coach John Fox has been very adamant, and seemingly stubborn at times, about his team's position on the run game.  However, as frustrating as it may be to watch the Panthers try the run over and over again only to come up short, setting up the run game does good things for a team with Steve Smith and Muhsin Muhammad on its roster.

"The way our offense is really set up, it benefits us to run the ball..." Muhammad was reported as saying earlier today by the Charlotte Observer.

And he's right.

The Cardinals' defense is currently ranked number 11 in the NFL against the rush, allowing only 93.7 yards per game.  If DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart are able to tear through the Cardinals' defense and pick up a good number of yards, things would obviously go well for the Panthers.  However, even if the team's running duo isn't able to perform at 100%, it at least keeps the Cardinals guessing as to where Delhomme will put the ball.  This could lead to very favorable match ups for the Panthers.

Judging by previous performances by the Panthers' backs, look for them have a decent game (I'm guessing 100-150 yards) and watch for some more great plays by Delhomme and his two favorite receivers.