Patriots rushing attack vs. Panthers run defense
The Patriots have finally begun to figure out how to use their running attack to their advantage, as Stevan Ridley has recently looked more like the runner who rushed for over 1,200 yards in 2012. The Patriots running game has rushed for 1,162 yards on 267 attempts in 2013, scoring 10 touchdowns. Running back Shane Vereen, who gained 159 total yards in Week 1 against the Bills, will be returning for the Patriots after missing every game since with a broken wrist he suffered in that win.
Just as their passing coverage has been one of the best in the league, the Panthers run defense has been just as stingy. Carolina has allowed just 738 rushing yards on the year at a rate of 3.8 yards per carry for opposing backs. They have also allowed just two rushing touchdowns on the season while forcing four fumbles. In nine games on the year, the Panthers have allowed an average of 82 rushing yards per game, good for second in the league.