If ever a time had come for the Carolina Panthers to re-discover their running game it is now. Injuries have forced the team to lean on DeAngelo Williams, but could they get more value by sending him to the Green Bay Packers?
Cam Newton needs help for Steve Smith after Ryan Kalil loss
Ryan Kalil vowed Carolina would win the Super Bowl in 2012. Sadly he won't stick around to help it happens as the Pro Bowl center hit injured reserve a quarter way into the season. Without him the Panthers will have an even harder time finding their identity as an offense. Cam Newton looks largely the same as last season but he hasn't created the same number of big plays and touchdowns. Part of the problem is the disappointing season had by running backs DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart. While Stewart has battled injuries all season, the big contract handed out to Williams hasn't had its value fulfilled so far. Through five games he has just 173 yards and two touchdowns. That is not the stats worthy of the highest paid running backs in the NFL. The bigger problem is how Carolina can give help to veteran receiver Steve Smith. No other target in their offense has gained the confidence of Newton and the Kalil injury will make that harder to fix. So the question becomes if the Panther keep faltering will they unload someone like Williams to help their passing game?
Loss of Cedric Benson puts Aaron Rodgers in crosshairs
Another team that can't avoid problems in the running game is the Green Bay Packers. Many though adding veteran free agent Cedric Benson was all the answer they needed, especially with Aaron Rodgers at quarterback. Five games in and it's clear things aren't the same as they were last season. The Packers offense fell apart when Benson went down against Indianapolis with a Lisfranc injury. Now the team must look to a pair of shaky backups in Alex Green and James Starks. Worse yet not having a ground game could expose Rodgers to the list of fierce pass rushes he must face down the road. His offensive line has given up 21 sacks so far this season and has not shown much improvement. Adding a capable running back could at least ease the pressure on their protection and keep defenses honest. That is why a trade for Williams makes sense. He would give Green Bay that presence while the Packers could unload receiver Greg Jennings who is the same age and in the last year of his contract.
The Carolina Panthers built around Cam Newton and thrive on big plays. If DeAngelo Williams can't help than he needs to go somewhere else. The Green Bay Packers need someone like him and may give up a capable receiver for the deal.
Photo Credit - Pro Football Zone