The big man in the middle is an underrated player on this defense. His value doesn’t get noticed because he does what is needed that doesn’t always show up on the stat sheet. For his big game, it will be another unnoticed performance.
Williams doesn’t need to show up on the stat sheet. He has to eat of space and clog the A-gaps in the run game. Applying interior pressure on Cam Newton is also needed, but he has to do it without opening running lanes.
Newton is a freak athlete, which makes Williams play in the passing game all the more vital. If he allows a running lane to open, any pressure he put on Newton will be rendered meaningless because Newton can take off and eat up yards with his legs.
In the Superbowl, Williams played a really good game. He controlled his man at the line of scrimmage and clogged the lanes. For how much the Panthers use their power run concepts, he will have to replicate that performance. Not only that, he will have to build on that performance.
Next: Trevor Siemian