Establish the run early and often
In a matchup where the projected temperature at kickoff is 38 degrees, Sunday’s game could quickly turn into one of smash-mouth football. If that happens to be the case, the matchup could go in Carolina’s (and Christian McCaffrey’s) favor. McCaffrey leads the NFL in yards per game, and it isn’t close. In eight games, CMC is averaging 110.1 yards per contest, and Nick Chubb, who ranks second, is averaging 100.4–almost 10 yards less than McCaffrey.
On top of McCaffrey’s individual dominance, establishing the run also makes sense considering the Panthers’ opponent. Green Bay ranks in the bottom-third of the league in run defense, and are among the worst in yards per carry allowed. Couple that with the fact McCaffrey has the most 20+ yard plays in the league, as well as the most rushing touchdowns, and pounding the rock seems like a no-brainer against the Packers.