Carolina Panthers: Week 1 Offensive grades vs. Dallas Cowboys
Offensive Line: C
Both right tackle Daryl Williams and guard Amini Silatolu were active after being limited all week attempting to recuperate from earlier knee injuries suffered during the preseason. Williams earned the start but Silatolu only saw action in jumbo packages initially until another injury forced him into action.
Midway through the fourth quarter, Williams was carted from the field after hurting what appeared to be his knee. Silatolu moved in to take over as the offensive line for Carolina remains plagued by injury.
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Taylor Moton and Greg Van Roten teamed up to protect Newton on the left side of the line and after struggling early, seemed to improve as the game progressed. Both played every offensive snap along with center Ryan Kalil and right guard Trai Turner.
Newton was sacked three times but this makeshift unit also paved the way for 147 yards on the ground. In their first full game, it wasn’t a terrible display but Carolina managed only one first-down after Williams departure.
Conservative play calling and the game situation constituted for a lack of moving the football but Newton was also sacked on one of only three pass attempts over their final three possessions. Protection needs to improve moving forward in addition to potentially finding another lineman who can contribute on game day should the injury to Williams cause him to miss a significant amount of time, which appears likely.
Overall, it was a good start for an offense featuring many new faces and being orchestrated by another newcomer in Turner. The injuries are going to hurt, but this early in the season there is no set identity for an offense still putting together all of the pieces.