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QB issues could put Panthers RBs in ‘double trouble’

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By Michael Blunda

The "Double Trouble" duo of DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart are widely considered one of the league's best RB tandems, but rough times could be on the horizon.

With QB Matt Moore producing little through the air during the first two weeks and getting benched Sunday for his poor play, Williams and Stewart have had minimal success running the ball, combining for just 171 yards and no TDs on 46 carries (3.7 yards per attempt) thus far. Now that rookie Jimmy Clausen has been announced as the starting QB for Week Three's game against the Bengals, things might get even worse for the RBs.

If Clausen struggles moving the ball, which first-year passers often do, defenses will have every reason to stack the box and clamp down against Carolina's potent rushing attack. That's not what fantasy owners who invested early picks in Williams or Stewart want to hear.

Of course, Clausen could exceed expectations and have early success, but that won't be easy for him given his dearth of quality weapons besides WR Steve Smith. Odds are, both backs are going to have to create for themselves against loaded defensive fronts, because that's what they are likely to see in the coming weeks.

With Stewart possibly not at 100 percent and playing a reduced role thus far, owners might want to sit him down for a while, especially with the Panthers' treacherous upcoming schedule.

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