Good news for the Panthers as they will need all the the help they can get against the division leading Falcons. Carolina is 1-0 in games that Stewart has played in this year, so clearly they have to be considered favorites in this game. Seriously though, this gives the Panthers a lot more balance to their offense. DeAngelo WIlliams needs that handcuff back to split carries for the running game to be full effective. Newton needs that good running game to free up the secondary a bit more. With Stewart in, the offense just runs more efficiently. It’s that simple. The Falcons defense has been surprisingly good all year, but aren’t as effective at stopping the run. If they don’t jump out to a huge lead, Carolina needs to pound the run as much as they can.
For the Falcons the only noticeable loss is their third corner, Chris Owens. Unfortunately for Carolina, they don’t have much depth at WR. Newton will have some trouble throwing against Samuel and Robinson, so the ground game becomes even more important. Julio Jones cut his hand in last game, but was never a real threat to miss this game. Matt Ryan and the offense should be all full strength for this game which is a scary thought. A player to watch, Jacquizz Rodgers. Rodgers hasn’t officially taken over the starting RB job, but he played more snaps than Turner last week. He fits the quicker offense much better, and is a real threat to break one big at anytime. He has yet to do it this year, but he can’t be ignored.