Due to some previously scheduled obligations, I was unable to catch the Panthers second preseason game against the Titans in its entirety, but I have seen enough of the game to this point to draw some conclusions. The end result of the game was disappointing and you’d obviously like a better performance from your starters, but ultimately, there isn’t anything to panic about.
Christian McCaffrey – It’s obvious that this kid is special. That doesn’t really bear much repeating, but even just glimpses of McCaffrey on the field show you just how capable he is of taking this offense to another level. We saw him run between the tackles for a score and we saw a one yard screen pass from Derek Anderson go for 39 yards. He makes the simple play look incredible and we haven’t even seen the depth of play calling options he gives to the offense yet.
First string O-Line – Shouts to the offensive line for not allowing a sack. Also, someone needs to pay Andrew Norwell.
Taylor Moton – He’s not technically a starter, but this kid is a beast. For such a young player he’s displayed an excellent amount of potential through the first two games. We know how smart he is, but physically. he’s shown he belongs.
David Mayo – Luke Kuechly was given the day off to rest some sore ribs so David Mayo was given an opportunity to start in his place. Mayo isn’t Luke, but he flew around the field and logged 10 tackles in condensed playing time. Losing AJ Klein was an underrated departure for this team, but Mayo has potential to be just as good of a backup which is huge.
Tyler Larsen – He has been rock solid filling in for the injured Ryan Kalil.
Cameron Artis-Payne – With Carolina taking CMC at pick eight, most people wrote him off before camp started. Well CAP is making his case to stick to this roster. Carolina has been known to keep five running backs/fullbacks on the 53 before and his fit as a bruising between the tackles back makes sense should Stew or CMC miss a game here or there.
Julius Peppers – Because he’s Julius Peppers! It was nice to see him on the field in Panther blue again.
Devin Funchess – He’s had a great camp, but he’s got to be that consistent in the game. His fumble put the defense in a bad spot and they gave up a touchdown.
Derek Anderson – As sharp as he looked against Houston he was that bad against Tennessee. Fans are calling for Joe Webb to take his backup spot. That’s a little much, but with Cam nursing that shoulder, we need DA to be better.
Damiere Byrd – Did literally nothing on Saturday. Not endanger of losing a roster spot I don’t think, but the hype has cooled.
Colin Jones – Special teams wizard, but not a good defender. Gets burned on coverage and misses tackles. Safety depth in general is a big issue.
Mike Adams – Like DA, he was solid in his time against Houston, but had a rough day on Saturday. He’s a two time pro bowler so he will get back on track, but with zero safety depth, we need Adams to be good every week.
Next up: Panthers travel down to Jacksonville for their Thursday night dress rehearsal. Kickoff at 7:30 PM.