4 ways the Carolina Panthers can build on Week 3 win at the Chargers

(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) Matt Rhule and Tahir Whitehead
(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) Matt Rhule and Tahir Whitehead /
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Carolina Panthers
(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Ian Thomas /

Get the tight ends more involved

One of the more baffling elements to the Carolina Panthers’ offensive production during the 2020 season so far has been the lack of involvement from their tight ends. This is something that Joe Brady utilized heavily at LSU and has been sorely missing from the passing attack through the first three weeks of the season.

Considering the expectations surrounding Ian Thomas coming into the campaign, he has been nothing short of anonymous. The former Indiana standout was expected to come in and fill the pass-catching void left by prolific veteran Greg Olsen. But this has failed to materialize so far.

Thomas was targeted just twice at the Chargers, which resulted in one reception for a nine-yard gain despite being on the field for 69 percent of the Panthers’ defensive snaps.

This brought his targets this season to four through three weeks, which is not the sort of volume the player was expecting, to put it mildly.

It’s not as if the Panthers have another tight end who is producing to justify such a lack of involvement for Thomas. Chris Manhertz wasn’t targeted once at SoFi Stadium and only has two receptions for 12 receiving yards to his name.

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Carolina does have some other prolific weapons at their disposal. But their lack of a big presence across the middle in Olsen’s absence is being felt and has undoubtedly played a role in their poor efficiency on third down.