The Carolina Panthers' running game is showing signs of life.
Jonathan Stewart tallied a season-high 137 yards on 27 carries in the Panthers’ Week 15 win over the Arizona Cardinals.
Stewart now has nine career 100-yard games and has reached the mark in back-to-back contests.
He is now third all-time in franchise history behind teammate DeAngelo Williams and DeShaun Foster with 2,637 rushing yards. He is already second in franchise history behind Williams in touchdowns with 22.
Stewart posted an 1,100-yard campaign in 2009, his second season, and had 10 touchdowns in each of his first two seasons.
In 2010, however, he surpassed 30 yards only once in the first 11 weeks of the season, two of which he missed with injury.
Since his return, he has run for 98, 93, 133 and 137 yards in each of the last four games.
With Williams on inured reserve and in the last year of his contract and backup Mike Goodson showing signs of competency with a pair of 100-yard games of his own this year, Stewart’s re-emergence could spell the end for Williams in Carolina.
Stewart is demonstrating he can still carry the load. If Goodson, who is in his second year, can prove a consistent backup, running back might be the strongest position on the Panthers roster in 2011.
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