4 things we learned from Panthers’ stunning Week 3 victory

(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) Matt Rhule
(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) Matt Rhule /
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Carolina Panthers
(Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images) J.J. Jansen /

Special teams play was a real difference-maker

It was a solid all-round performance by the Carolina Panthers. But it would be hard to argue that the special teams unit did not have a substantial say in the overall outcome.

This is an area of the field that often gets overlooked, but the Panthers do not win without this contribution at the Chargers on Sunday.

Kicker Joey Slye was at his clinical best throughout the contest, nailing all five of his field goals attempts to continue his perfect start to the campaign in this statistic. And he even came up with a big tackle following a kickoff, the first of his career.

Another impressive element that shouldn’t be overlooked is the tremendous field position the Panthers were able to start drives thanks to Pharoh Cooper. The free-agent signing has been a superb addition to the roster and he was able to find the necessary elusiveness to make a difference when it counted.

Perhaps the most notable play on special teams was prior to the final drive, and it brought the unlikeliest of heroes.

A booming punt from Joseph Charlton was collected inside the one-yard line by long-snapper J.J. Jansen, and the veteran even managed to keep his feet out of the end zone to leave Justin Herbert with the task of going the entire length of the field.

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Thankfully for the Panthers, he was unable to do so. This gave them a winning feeling that hadn’t been experienced by the organization since November last year.