4 big takeaways from Panthers’ Week 1 loss to the Raiders

(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Carolina Panthers
(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Carolina Panthers /
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Carolina Panthers
(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Teddy Bridgewater /

Teddy Bridgewater proved capable in a starting role

All eyes were on Teddy Bridgewater as he took his first competitive snaps with the Carolina Panthers. He got off to a hot start during a performance that was encouraging overall. But there were some big opportunities missed that he would undoubtedly like to have back.

Bridgewater’s poise in the pocket was a standout feature of his overall play. His 75-yard touchdown to wide receiver Robby Anderson was the highlight. But his ability to go through reads quickly and read the defense pre-snap was equally as important.

It was somewhat disappointing that the signal-caller was not given more responsibility late in the game. The Panthers opted to go with four straight running plays on their pivotal fourth-quarter drive where they eventually came up short. The smart play might have been airing it out given that Anderson had burned them just a few minutes earlier.

Bridgewater eventually finished his debut in Carolina with 270 passing yards and one touchdown, completing 22 of 34 passes for a 98.9 quarterback rating. He also showed a surprising elusiveness in the pocket under pressure which really caught the eye.

Although the Panthers didn’t pick up the win, there was a lot to like about what Bridgewater can bring to the table once chemistry with his weapons is fully developed. It’s just a shame for him that Cam Newton hit the headlines in a big way during a stunning debut for the New England Patriots.