4 biggest challenges for the Panthers against the Buccaneers

(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Matt Rhule and Teddy Bridgewater
(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Matt Rhule and Teddy Bridgewater /
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Carolina Panthers
(Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images) Chris Godwin /

Trying to stop Mike Evans and Chris Godwin

The Carolina Panthers went through their fair share of struggles at cornerback against the Las Vegas Raiders. This was to be expected with a new-look group with little experience. But whether things are going to get any better in Week 2 is another matter entirely.

Their task was further complicated by No. 1 option Donte Jackson missing most of the game after heading to the sidelines in the first quarter. This was far from an ideal start to a pivotal campaign for the former LSU standout and it appears his availability is in doubt for Sunday’s game at the Buccaneers.

This will be music to the ears of Mike Evans and Chris Godwin. The duo became arguably the NFL’s best tandem in 2019 as departed quarterback Jameis Winston threw for 5,000 passing yards and they are almost impossible to stop when firing on all cylinders.

Evans might be dealing with a hamstring issue that clearly limited him at the Saints. But his presence on the field alone would be enough to make the Panthers think twice about leaving him in one-on-one situations.

Godwin emerged as a primary target in 2019 that leaves many to believe he is a potential star in the making. He brought in six of seven targets for 79 receiving yards in Week 1 against a Saints’ secondary that is far deeper and more talented than what the wideout will be coming up against on Sunday.

There appears to be some doubt as to Godwin’s availability on Sunday, with the wideout currently in the concussion protocol. If he cannot do enough to prove his health, this is going to be a massive boost for the Panthers.

There appears little chance of this current cornerback group in Carolina completely thwarting the threat posed by Evans and Godwin. The best they can probably hope for is limiting their ability to influence the game by any means possible.