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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