5 shining stars from the Panthers win vs. NY Jets in Week 1

(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Christian McCaffrey
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Christian McCaffrey /
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Carolina Panthers
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Shaq Thompson /

30. 19. 87. Final. 14

Who were the shining stars for the Carolina Panthers during their Week 1 victory against the New York Jets at Bank of America Stadium?

It was an occasion not to be missed as the Carolina Panthers took the field for the first time in a competitive setting this season. Sunday’s game against the New York Jets was full of intriguing storylines for those in attendance and watching around the world to focus on, with Matt Rhule’s men eventually coming away with a 19-14 win that should have been more based on the first half alone.

As is the case with most opening day games around the league, there was some good and plenty of bad where the Panthers are concerned. Progress will undoubtedly come as the season goes on, but things are going to get far tougher for this group over the second half of the campaign.

There is something magical about opening day. Even more so this year with the return of a packed house at Bank of America Stadium with COVID-19 restrictions lifted regarding fan attendance.

With this in mind, here are five shining stars from Carolina’s triumph against the Jets to kick off their 2021 campaign.

Shining Star No. 1

Carolina Panthers
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Donte Jackson /

Donte Jackson – Carolina Panthers CB

This was a tremendous start to the season for Donte Jackson. The cornerback certainly looked the part once again with a strong display of both coverage and tackling when needed, although he did have to go off the field with another slight injury problem in the fourth quarter.

Hopefully, it’s nothing serious. Jackson is playing for a new deal in 2021 and if he continues in this sort of form, it would be wise for the Panthers to pay up accordingly.

Having a defensive front that generated significant pressure throughout also helped. Something that was devoid in Carolina over the first half of 2020.

Jackson ended with six tackles and one pass defended. The start of bigger and better things to come, perhaps.