Miles Sanders ran wrong route on Panthers’ clutch 4th-down conversion

The best play Miles Sanders has made all season is the one he didn’t make.

Yesterday’s tight 15-13 win for the Carolina Panthers probably wouldn’t have happened without a huge fourth-down conversion during the final minutes of the game. Down by a point and needing two yards to keep their last drive going, quarterback Bryce Young squeezed a pass into the hands of wideout Adam Thielen to move the sticks just past midfield.

But that pass was nearly found by the hands of Sanders . . .

On Monday, head coach Frank Reich attributed Sanders’ placement to an incorrect route.

“Yeah,” Reich replied when asked if his running back ran the wrong route. “There was a miscommunication. So, hats off to Adam. Hats off to Adam because you’re breakin’ out, expectin’ the ball on time—and then all of a sudden, you see Miles runnin’ at ya and it can be a big-time distraction, to both Adam and to Bryce throwing it.”

Luckily, the play was made and the rest is now history. The Panthers capped off their 15-play, 86-yard possession with a walk-off field goal by kicker Eddy Piñeiro to clinch the much-needed victory.

Sanders, however, has struggled to settle in after signing a four-year, $25.4 million deal this past spring. He’s rushed for just 190 yards and one touchdown on 63 carries, which puts him at a career-low average of 3.0 yards per attempt.

Week 8 may have been a new low on the campaign, as he failed to register a single yard on two totes. So, Reich was then asked how the team can help get their pricey rusher out of his slump.

“I think it happens a couple different ways,” he said. “One thing is feed him the ball. You can get him some touches. And then sometimes, it’s just a question of—as a player—hey, even if it’s limited touches, I have to make the most of what touches I get and what plays I’m in.

“I/we have a lot of confidence in Miles. Chuba [Hubbard] is gettin’ the bulk of the carries with the way our run game is goin’. He’s a more physical, downhill runner. But Miles is a great player. And so, we wanna continue to mix it up.”

Hubbard, following a season-high 88 rushing yards in Week 6, led the backfield with 15 rushing attempts on Sunday.

Story originally appeared on Panthers Wire