4 Panthers players who exceeded expectations at the Falcons

(Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports) Alex Armah
(Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports) Alex Armah /
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Carolina Panthers
(Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports) Juston Burris /

Juston Burris – Carolina Panthers S

Juston Burris has endured a rough start to life with the Carolina Panthers. It is never easy for defensive backs to come into a new environment and hit the ground running. But this bears more significance this time around with no preseason games on the schedule.

The free-agent arrival from the Cleveland Browns is growing in stature with each passing game, something that is really coming across in the standard of his play. Burris did have some disappointing moments at the Falcons. But his experience down the stretch came up with some big second-half plays that played a leading role in Carolina’s success.

Just when it looked like Atlanta might get back on level terms after the Panthers took their foot off the throttle after the break, Burris anticipated a Matt Ryan thrown to the end zone that resulted in a crucial interception.

This was another significant confidence boost for Burris, who arrived in Carolina on a two-year, $8 million deal that included a $2.1 million signing bonus and a further $2.1 million guaranteed this offseason. Burris played every snap at the Falcons and finished with three combined tackles, one interception, and one pass deflection, which has raised his Pro Football Focus grade to a respectable 56.3 through five weeks.