Miami Dolphins: 3 Panthers players to plan for ahead of Sunday

Cam Newton Carolina Panthers (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
Cam Newton Carolina Panthers (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) /
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Which players should the Miami Dolphins be game planning for ahead of Sunday’s home matchup against the Carolina Panthers?

After the Miami Dolphins upset the Baltimore Ravens on Thursday Night Football a few weeks back, talk began about the slim possibility of Miami playing their way back in to contention. Their upcoming schedule looked promising, and some quick math got some fans fantasizing about a 7-7 record.

The Dolphins will play what on paper looks like the toughest matchup of the four-game “soft spot” in the schedule this coming Sunday, as they host the Carolina Panthers.

After starting the season 3-0, Carolina has lost six of their last eight games, but may be undergoing a rejuvenation of sorts with the addition of quarterback Cam Newton. The Panthers are 1-1 since his return, though the loss came in the one game that he started. But he has performed well for having missed over half of the season while being a free agent, and has given Miami some matchup problems in the past. If the Dolphins want to continue their hot streak and build any sort of momentum for a late season push, then beating Carolina is of the utmost importance.

Sunday’s game will be the first of three straight at home for Miami, something that they will look to take advantage of before playing two of their final three on the road. Despite their record, the Panthers have some playmakers that the Dolphins will need to game plan for. Running back Christian McCaffrey is one of the most dangerous players in the league and looks to have returned to full health. His presence is so obvious that he was left off of the following list.

So who are the guys that the Miami coaching staff should be preparing their players for? Here are three of the most important: