Three Carolina Panthers players that need to step up on Sunday
It has certainly been a great signing. Eric Reid has come onto the field for the Carolina Panthers and made an instant impact. He has added more explosiveness to a defense already having a ton. He is an additional spark on a Panthers defense that possesses big-time playmakers.
In last week’s game, Reid was second on the team in tackles with seven. He recorded 1.5 sacks and hit Joe Flacco once. In four games, with the Panthers, he has recorded 21 tackles. He has done so rather quietly as a lot of attention is paid to the defensive line and linebackers. They are more than deserving of the attention but Reid deserves his share as well. His best game of the season in terms of tackles came against the Philadelphia Eagles. In that contest he recorded nine, setting the tone defensively.
His best chance at making an impact will come via the pass rush. If you give Ryan Fitzpatrick too much time he will be able to throw the deep ball, which is something he loves to do. Taking over for Jameis Winston against Cincinnati, Fitzpatrick averaged 12.9 yards per attempt and threw two touchdowns. He suffered one sack and threw the ball away once per statistics from Pro football Focus. Even in a small sample size, that is not a ton of pressure. The Carolina Panthers need to do a better job than the Bengals did of getting pressure on Fitzpatrick.
Reid should be able to help with that. His athleticism and quickness allows him to get to the quarterback quickly. He will have to come up huge in Sunday’s game as failure to get to the quarterback may result in many deep passes to DeSean Jackson and Mike Evans. That in turn will put unfair pressure on the secondary. That needs to be avoided if possible.