Like the Jets, the Panthers own one of the best rushing attacks in the league. Unlike the Jets, they lean on two different backs instead of one. DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart might be the best tailback tandem in football. Williams has 982 yards, 7 touchdowns, and a 5.1 average. Had the Panthers not snatched him up in the 2006 Draft right before the Jets went on the clock, there's a chance the Jets may have grabbed him instead of Nick Mangold. Stewart has 509 yards, 6 touchdowns, and a 4.6 average. Williams is the complete package as a runner. Stewart only really lacks breakaway speed. Stewart has been battling an Achilles injury but participated in practice fully on Friday and should be ready to go.
The Panthers are a great run blocking team. Ryan Kalil fights with Nick Mangold and Miami's Jake Grove for the title of best run blocking center. Sione Pouha and Howard Green will have their hands full. David Harris and Bart Scott had better be comfortable working in traffic. The Jets have shown more four man fronts since the Kris Jenkins injury. I wouldn't be surprised to see that trend continue. Carolina will miss Jordan Gross on the left side. Travelle Wharton represents a major downgrade at left tackle. The rest of the Panthers line is full of solid blockers from Jeff Otah to Keydrick Vincent to MacKenzy Bernadeau.
Carolina also has an excellent lead blocking fullback, Brad Hoover, although they do like to run a lot of three receiver and double tight sets so Hoover, who is battling an ankle injury may not see much time. It's going to be really important for the secondary to assist in run support. Muhsin Muhammad in particular is an excellent blocking receiver. Lito Sheppard might be called on to get off a block and make a key tackle when the Panthers send Williams outside.