4 positives from the Panthers’ Week 1 loss to the Raiders

(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Robby Anderson
(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Robby Anderson /
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Carolina Panthers
(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Jeremy Chinn /

Derrick Brown and Jeremy Chinn

There was plenty of excitement among the Carolina Panthers’ loyal fanbase as Derrick Brown and Jeremy Chinn took the field for the first time since being drafted. They were thrown in at the deep end and it’s safe to say that the duo more than lived up to their billing.

Chinn was nothing short of exceptional after getting the nod at outside linebacker opposite Shaq Thompson. The former Southern Illinois standout looked the part throughout the game and always seemed to be around the ball in no matter what the scenario happened to be.

This was further reflected in his seven solo tackles and eight combined tackles during the contest. Chinn displayed the sort of instincts and athleticism that made the Panthers trade up to select the do-it-all defender and his level of production will be a huge confidence boost despite the result.

Brown didn’t get off to the best of starts after going off the field with an injury. The No. 7 overall pick was questionable to return at one stage. But he dug deep and provided the Panthers with an exceptional anchor on the interior.

He was exactly as advertised regarding just how tough it was to move him off the block. Las Vegas has an imposing offensive line interior who struggled to cope with Brown’s force alongside Kawann Short and this forced Jon Gruden to move to an outside running game with Josh Jacobs that was a masterstroke in the grand scheme of things.

The result didn’t go their way. But Brown and Chinn can look back at their respective debuts with an enormous sense of pride.