3 Panthers players who showed out vs. the Falcons in Week 8

(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Curtis Samuel
(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Curtis Samuel /
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Carolina Panthers
(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Brian Burns /

Brian Burns – Carolina Panthers DE

This is something that is becoming more evident with every passing week. Brian Burns is a one-man wrecking crew on the Carolina Panthers’ defensive line and he turned in another eye-catching display in front of a nationally televised audience for the first time this season.

The second-year-pro is starting to emerge as one of the NFL’s best young pass-rushers. He could have had four sacks in the first half alone on a different day. But it is vital he starts finishing off these exceptional moves going forward.

That being said, it’s hard to gauge just where the Panthers would be on defense without Burns at the moment. The fact he is still managed to influence proceedings with far more attention from opposing protection schemes is a testament to how well the player is coping with extra responsibility on his shoulders, and the sky is the limit if he continues to develop at his current rate.

Carolina didn’t exactly set the world alight on defense. Quarterback Matt Ryan followed in the footsteps of Drew Brees by picking apart the soft zone coverages in their secondary, and there is much work to do in this regard.

As for Burns, he is the beating heart of Carolina’s defense in his sophomore campaign. However, if his fourth-quarter injury is serious, the Panthers have a real problem on their hands.