P.J. Walker: Grading the Panthers QB’s debut in win vs. Lions

(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) P.J. Walker
(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) P.J. Walker /
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P.J. Walker
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) P.J. Walker /

The good from P.J. Walker vs. Lions

Considering this was P.J. Walker’s first NFL start, he took to it extremely well. The quarterback looked composed in the pocket for the most part against a Detroit defensive front that has some problems getting into the backfield consistently. So this was probably the ideal scenario for the player to walk into.

Walker got off to the best possible start, which would have done his confidence the world of good. He led a 95-yard drive to open the scoring that featured an eye-catching deep throw for D.J. Moore that went for a game-high 52 yards.

This was a feature of Walker’s contribution that really caught the eye. His arm strength is exceptional and some of the difficult distribution was almost effortless.

Another area where Walker excelled was his footwork in the pocket. The Carolina Panthers have had some trouble protecting on the interior of late and were also missing free-agent signing John Miller through injury, so having someone under center who can make plays on the move was highly beneficial in this particular matchup.

Keeping plays alive is something that’s all the rage in the NFL when it comes to their quarterbacks. But Carolina isn’t getting a substantial amount of this from Teddy Bridgewater.

Walker was also pretty accurate, completing 70.5 percent of his passes on his way to 258 passing yards and one touchdown. This was exactly what the Panthers needed and may have even kept him in the team’s long-term plans moving forward.