4 silver linings from the Panthers’ loss at Vikings in Week 12

(Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports) Stantley Thomas-Oliver
(Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports) Stantley Thomas-Oliver /
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Carolina Panthers
(Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) Taylor Moton /

Taylor Moton – Carolina Panthers OT

For a change, the Carolina Panthers’ struggles on offense were nothing to do with their protection.

Getting Russell Okung back into the lineup after an extended period out through injury was a major boost that almost proved decisive. And they coped well overall with a Minnesota pass-rush who don’t have the luxury of Pro Bowl duo Danielle Hunter and Everson Griffen on the edge for differing reasons.

One of the more eye-catching performances on the day from this perspective was Taylor Moton. The right tackle put in yet another assured display that further enhanced his reputation as one of the NFL’s best edge protectors and he only seems to be getting better with every passing game.

Moton’s outstanding contribution during a crushing loss didn’t go unnoticed by Pro Football Focus, who surged his grade for the 2020 season up to 82.6, which is now the team’s highest and 0.1 ahead of pass-rushing phenom Brian Burns.

Keeping Moton around is going to cost the Panthers a substantial amount this offseason. But the player will be worth every penny.

With questions surrounding all four other starting linemen, getting the former second-round pick tied down long-term will stand them in good stead ahead of a hugely important 2021 campaign for the organization.