Last season, the Carolina Panthers fielded a very formidable rushing attack, aided in part by rookie QB Cam Newton. This season, Newton has struggled and his lack of performance on the field has affected the Panthers rushing game so far this season. The Panthers are a team in turmoil right now and as head coach Ron Rivera looks for answers, it appears that Jonathan Stewart will be the team’s starting running back for the second consecutive week.
The Panthers backfield appeared to be stacked this season with DeAngelo Williams along with Jonathan Stewart returning with Cam Newton. The Panthers also added free agent RB Mike Tolbert this year in free agency. Despite averaging nearly 200 yards per game on the ground last year, Carolina is a middle of the road team this season, gaining an average of 113 yards running the ball this season.
Stewart has only appeared in four games this season, rushing for 142 yards and he has not found the endzone this season to this point. Despite receiving his second start, this is not a matchup which goes in Stewart’s favor. The Bears defense has been tenacious this season, and they are leading the league in run defense, allowing just 71 yards per game. This is not a good position to start Stewart, look elsewhere for help.