Oct 31, 2021; Inglewood, California, USA; New England Patriots running back Damien Harris (37) carries the ball against the Los Angeles Chargers in the second half at SoFi Stadium. The Patriots defeated the Chargers 27-24. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Patriots sit even at 4-4 after a win on the road against the Chargers. They take on Sam Darnold and the Carolina Panthers as they look to get above .500.

The New England Patriots are sticking around in the AFC playoff hunt after an upset win over the Los Angeles Chargers. Their defense made multiple big plays, and their rookie quarterback Mac Jones continues to play admirably. Can they make it three wins in a row as they take on the Carolina Panthers?

What to expect between the Patriots and Panthers

The Patriots run game will struggle

New England has made it a point to emphasize the run game more in the last few weeks. Damien Harris had 23 carries against the Chargers, but good for only 80 yards. The Chargers have the worst rush defense in the NFl, and New England’s top running back averaged less than four yards per carry against them.

Carolina’s defense has been what has kept them in games throughout the season. All of the young talent on that side of the ball have come together to create one of the best units in football. With Derrick Brown and Brian Burns both taking big leaps this season, running the ball against Carolina won’t come easy. Mac Jones is going to need to make big throws in order for the Patriots to have any success offensively.

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