Carolina Panthers: 5 matchups to watch vs. the Jets in Week 1

Carolina Panthers wide receiver Robby Anderson (11) Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports
Carolina Panthers wide receiver Robby Anderson (11) Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports /
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Carolina Panthers
(Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images) Brian Burns /

Carolina Panthers Brian Burns Vs. NY Jets Mekhi Becton

Offensive line struggles are not unique to the Panthers and that is a place the Jets struggle as well. While the Panthers clearly had issues, they still ranked 18th by Pro Football Focus whereas the Jets limped into 29th place and their line looks largely the same.

The fact that only two positions will be occupied by a different player in 2021 should make the Panthers D-line and especially third-year superstar Brian Burns mouths water.

The Jets seem pretty high on the potential second-year left tackle Mekhi Becton after a good rookie campaign in which he only allowed seven sacks. A performance that had him ranked at 29 among offensive tackles by PFF and given an overall rating of 74.4. But when you put potential against a proven track record, things tend to get a little bit interesting.

Burns has turned into one of the league’s true stars along the defensive line and looks primed to make a huge jump in 2021 after the addition of some much-needed help in Hasson Reddick, Morgan Fox, and Daquon jones.

While Becton performed admirably last season, it’s a tall order to try and contain a group like that let alone be put one on one with Burns, a player that just barely missed out on double-digit sacks last season.

Another thing to consider is that Becton is a large individual at a listed 364 pounds in a 6’7″ frame. It takes a lot of effort to get that moving and it doesn’t necessarily stop on a dime either.  You cant move a mountain, but you can go around one and that’s what Burns excels at. So when you place a mountain against a speed and swim move specialist it can be a recipe for a very long day. At the very least, be on the lookout for lots of holding and false start penalties.

Even if Burns doesn’t win on every play, the disruption and attention he will require will keep Becton and the rest of the line on their toes enough that the other players, stars in their own right, will feast. No matter who gets through it’s going to be a long day at the office for Wilson.