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) Tre Boston /

Secondary struggles were as advertised

We knew things might be bad regarding the Carolina Panthers from a secondary perspective. These fears were more than evident in Week 1 and it is going to be a long season if things don’t improve quickly.

The Panthers lost No. 1 cornerback option, Donte Jackson, to an early injury in the first quarter. This was nothing short of a disaster for a threadbare group that struggled to cope during an outing that did nothing to alleviate concerns regarding the potential to make a difference in 2020.

Rookie corner Troy Pride Jr. was given a crash course in covering NFL receivers. One suspected that putting too much on him early might be detrimental. But it’s not like Carolina had any other alternative given the absences of Jackson and Eli Apple.

Raiders tight end Darren Waller did the damage over intermediate routes, Hunter Renfrow made two clutch catches and Henry Ruggs III got his rookie campaign off to a flyer with a big reception that led to an early score.

Carolina Panthers vs. Raiders: Instant in-depth analysis from Week 1 loss. light. Must Read

If Carolina doesn’t have Jackson ready go to next week against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, then it is going to make for a grim-looking scenario. Serious adjustments need to be made. But the simple fact of the matter is that there might not even be enough talent within the secondary to compensate for a lack of pressure on the defensive front.