5 biggest surprises from Carolina Panthers first preseason game

(Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports) Phil Hoskins
(Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports) Phil Hoskins /
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Carolina Panthers
(Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports) Phil Hoskins /

Carolina Panthers DT Phil Hoskins vs. the rest

The defensive line of the Carolina Panthers was all it was hyped to be on Sunday, even without its biggest stars in Brain Burns, Hasson Reddick, and Derrick Brown.

However, that was mostly because of the magnificent play of Marquis Haynes and Yetur Gross-Matos.  The dynamic duo seemed to be in the backfield on every play and made the Indianapolis Colts offensive line look entirely outmatched for most of the day.

But that’s where the majority of the good ends.

While much has been said about the strength of the edge rush, the interior has been largely swept under the rug and forgotten, especially after its starters. But there was still talk about it being a relatively deep position with quality players down the chart, that wasn’t the case against the Colts.

Sunday’s starters Barvvion Roy and Daviyon Nixon struggled to create any pressure or even get a push of any kind up the middle. Sometimes not even moving their opposition at all and even being pushed backward regularly.

The tandem almost seemed gassed from the word go, bringing no energy or enthusiasm to the line. They just seemed to not be putting much into their play.

However, it wasn’t all bad. While he may have not registered a tackle, rookie Phil Hoskins brought all the energy. The seventh-round pick was constantly blowing through the line, weaving his way past linemen like they weren’t even there and was the only bright spot on the interior during the second half.

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Hoskins looked every bit the part of a disruptive interior lineman who could be a real stud with some more experience and time to develop. Something the Panthers desperately need if Roy and Nixon continue to play at a disappointing level.