Sunday’s game between the Falcons and Panthers will feature a potential mismatch in one area.
That’s Michael Turner against a Carolina run defense that has struggled all season. Things might be even worse for the Panthers now that starting defensive tackles Sione Fua and Terrell McClain are out for the rest of the season due to injuries.
But the interior of the defensive line hasn’t been the only problem for the Panthers. According to ESPN Stats & Information, Carolina has allowed 585 rushing yards outside the tackles. That’s the fourth-highest total in the NFL.
People tend to think of Turner as a between-the-tackles runner and there is validity to that. But the numbers show Turner also can run outside the tackles.
Turner has gained 345 yards when running outside the tackles. Only LeSean McCoy and Matt Forte have more yardage. Turner ranks fifth in the league with a 6.1-yard average on carries outside the tackles. He also leads the league with 189 yards after initial contact on runs outside the tackles.