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Struggles with running game don’t worry Panthers’ Ron Rivera

PANTHERS_PATRIOTS_23
Jeff Siner - jsiner@charlotteobserver.com
Carolina running back DeAngelo Williams and the rest of the running game struggled Monday against a New England defense that crowded the line of scrimmage.

Take away Cam Newton’s seven carries for 62 yards and the Carolina Panthers’ backfield accounted for 41 yards on 16 carries in Monday’s 24-20 victory over the New England Patriots.

That is the lowest output by Carolina’s running backs since DeAngelo Williams, Mike Tolbert and Jonathan Stewart combined for 25 rushing yards in Week 5 of the 2012 season against Seattle.

But Panthers coach Rivera wasn’t concerned with the low numbers from his backs. New England showed a lot of eight- and nine-man fronts, and that stymied the Carolina rushing attack, Rivera said.

“They did a nice job with that, they made it tough for us,” Rivera said. “We still rushed for 100 yards – the quarterback had a big part in that – but we tried to run the football, we tried to run it the way we wanted to run it. They had a plan, remember they had two weeks to prepare, and Coach (Bill) Belichick and his staff did a nice job preparing for us.”

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