Panthers coach Ron Rivera has incredibly high praise for offensive line play vs. Jaguars
The Carolina Panthers enjoyed a monster day from their backfield against the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 5. Head coach Ron Rivera acknowledges that any success they had on the ground started up front.
Running back Christian McCaffrey enjoyed another career day in the win over the Jaguars. According to Brendan Marks of The Charlotte Observer, Rivera shared high praise for his offensive line:
“Awesome, awesome, awesome.”
There is certainly plenty of truth to Rivera’s comments. McCaffrey finished the game with 176 yards and two touchdowns on 19 carries. Even when he was sidelined with injury, the offensive line still managed to help running back Reggie Bonnafon run for 80 yards and a touchdown on a mere five carries. Their big day on the ground even spurred Rivera to award the game ball to offensive line coach John Matsko.
Their performance could not have come at a more ideal time. The Panthers have done some major re-shuffling along the offensive line in recent weeks while dealing with some injuries. As a result, this group still appeared to be finding its footing coming into their matchup with the Jaguars.
Fortunately, their homestand against Jacksonville was just what they needed to get back on the right track. With quarterback Cam Newton still sidelined, it is no secret that Carolina has emphasized establishing the run. Although it has lead to an increase in touches for McCaffrey, offensive coordinator Norv Turner admitted that he did not want to rely on him for 25-plus touches on a weekly basis.
The Panthers were provided with a reminder of why that is after he was sidelined against the Jaguars. However, Rivera says it is not deemed to be serious.