Carolina Panthers: Week 8 awards in loss vs. the Falcons

(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Teddy Bridgewater
(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Teddy Bridgewater /
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Carolina Panthers
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Brian Burns /

Carolina Panthers Awards: Brian Burns – Defensive Player of the Game

Brian Burns continues to improve this year. The 2019 first-round pick has been exceptional so far and impacts the game on multiple levels.

He failed to come away with an official sack on the game, as one was stripped away from him because of a penalty for illegal contact by Myles Hartsfield. This would have come on third down and forced the Falcons to punt the ball much earlier, giving the Panthers close to five minutes to stage a comeback.

At moments this year, Burns seems unnoticed as his sack numbers don’t align with the wreckage he causes opposing offenses. The man simply can’t be stopped on some plays.

His biggest play of the night happened during the second quarter as he rushed into the backfield, causing quarterback Matt Ryan to slightly throw the ball off from his intended target ending in an interception by Donte Jackson. At the time, the play was a game-changer as the Panthers scored on the ensuing drive to give them a 14-6 lead.

The eye-catching play isn’t the only reason Burns earns defensive player of the game. His constant pressure on Ryan was an eye-catching feature of the game and only enhanced his reputation as one of the NFL’s best young defensive ends.