5 key observations from the Panthers preseason win vs. Steelers

(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) D.J. Moore
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) D.J. Moore /
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Carolina Panthers
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Robby Anderson /

34. 87. Final. 9. 55

What were some key observations from a profitable night at the office for the Carolina Panthers in their final preseason game before the 2021 campaign?

It was a very enjoyable evening for Carolina Panthers fans as they ended their preseason schedule on the right note. Matt Rhule’s men took full advantage of going up against an under-strength Pittsburgh Steelers, who were resting the majority of their starters after playing three warmup games before Friday’s clash at Bank of America Stadium.

The Panthers can only beat what’s in front of them. Something they managed to do efficiently to give them a solid foundation from which to build as preparation now begins for Week 1 against the New York Jets.

Rhule, Scott Fitterer, and other decision-makers will now begin making their choices as to who’s going through onto the 53-man roster. Most positions on the depth chart have now been decided, but there are still some difficult calls to make and there is also the prospect of additional reinforcements coming in off the waiver wire.

Without further ado, here are five key observations from Carolina’s impressive preseason win against the Steelers.

Observation No. 1

Carolina Panthers
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Ryan Santoso /

Carolina Panthers kicking competition is over

In truth, the eagerly anticipated kicking battle between Ryan Santoso and Joey Slye was over pretty quickly. The recent acquisition from the New York Giants nailed a 53-yard attempt in the first quarter that went through off the uprights, leaving the ball in the Virginia Tech product’s court when it was his turn to take the field.

As has been the case for most of the preseason, Slye fluffed his lines and wasn’t seen much after.

This is now Santoso’s job and the Panthers will be giving up a seventh-rounder to the Giants as a result. If he solves their kicking woes, it’s a draft selection well spent.