4 Panthers players who exceeded expectations at the Bucs

(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Mike Davis
(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Mike Davis /
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Carolina Panthers
(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Mike Davis /

Mike Davis – Carolina Panthers RB

Losing Christian McCaffrey is a devastating blow for the Carolina Panthers. But Mike Davis‘ performance in the All-Pro’s absence at the Buccaneers left plenty of reasons to be encouraged.

The Panthers were chasing the game at this point, which meant little in the way of ball-carrying opportunities for the veteran. However, there was plenty to like about Davis’ ability to help out in the passing game, which is obviously an area where McCaffrey thrives.

Davis hauled in eight receptions for 74 yards in the second half, which gained an 84.9 receiving grade from Pro Football Focus. Many of these came as a result of check-downs from Teddy Bridgewater as the Bucs’ focused on stopping their considerable threats down the field. But it is none the less impressive from a player that surged up the Panthers’ depth chart after a standout showing at training camp.

The running back has earned the trust of the coaching staff already, which should stand him in good stead. Davis does have the experience of carrying the load to a certain degree. But being Carolina’s bell cow is another stern test of his credentials.

If Davis can take his Week 2 form into this Sunday game at the Los Angeles Chargers, it is going to help enormously. They managed to nullify the threat of star rookie Clyde Edwards-Helaire against the Kansas City Chiefs for the most part. And the Panthers’ new No. 1 option will have to work hard for every yard that comes his way.