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NFL New England Patriots

New England Patriots Must Beware Of Carolina Panthers DE Charles Johnson

Charles Johnson

Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Charles Johnson is a very underrated player in the NFL.  In his career he has surpassed 50 sacks and has forced 13 fumbles.  This season in particular he is off to a very impressive start for the Carolina Panthers.  In nine games so far this year, Johnson has 8.5 sacks, one forced fumble, and one recovery to go along with 22 tackles.

Now he will be able to showcase his talents on a national stage against a very good New England Patriots football team.  Fortunately for him, the Patriots’ offensive line has struggled at times this year.  While the Patriots can usually take players like him out of the game, their battered offensive line may not be able to take him away this week, especially with underrated players like Greg Hardy, Star Lotulelei, and Dwan Edwards alongside him up front.

Tom Brady has struggled at times this season due to both offensive line issues and him holding the ball too long.  Any combination of the two could be disastrous for the Patriots this week given the Panthers’ stout defensive line.  The Patriots must do whatever they can to ensure that Johnson is a non-factor tonight.

Whether that means keeping a running back in to block more often or double teaming him along the offensive line, the Patriots must account for his presence tonight.  If the Pats overlook him it could spell trouble for Brady and company in this crucial Monday night matchup.

Will Gellman is a New England Patriots writer for RantSports.com.  Follow him on Twitter, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.