3 concerns for Matt Rhule ahead of Raiders clash in Week 1

(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Teddy Bridgewater and Matt Rhule
(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Teddy Bridgewater and Matt Rhule /
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Carolina Panthers
(Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images) Joey Slye /

Can the kicking game deliver?

This could be a game that comes down to fine margins. The Carolina Panthers will need its kicking team to provide a valuable contribution against the Raiders and beyond to give them any chance of proving those who have already written off their chances in 2020.

Matt Rhule will be all-too-aware of this going into their season opener. They have two relatively inexperienced players occupying their kicking spots and this is going to come with its own share of concerns going in.

Joey Slye stepped into the void left by Graham Gano well in 2019. He secured a 78.1 percent success rate from field goals during the previous campaign and although the veteran returned to full health at training camp, the player wasn’t given a chance to get back the No. 1 position.

This represents a significant amount of confidence in Slye. This leap of faith is something that he needs to repay on the field with critical production when it matters most.

The Panthers will start the season with Joseph Charlton as their starting punted. His performance at camp was littered with inconsistencies and it was enough of a problem for Carolina to bring in Kaare Vedvik and keep him on the practice squad as a protected player.

It will be a pressure-cooker for Charlton from the word go. If he fails to meet expectations then it will not take long for Rhule to move on from the first-year-pro and go with Vedvik or another free-agent option instead.