5 Panthers players with work to do after Week 1 vs. NY Jets

(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Terrace Marshall Jr.
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Terrace Marshall Jr. /
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Carolina Panthers
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Frankie Luvu /

Which Carolina Panthers players have work to do ahead of a crucial Week 2 divisional game against the New Orleans Saints?

Getting off on the right note was absolutely essential for the Carolina Panthers in 2021. Their home fixture against the New York Jets was the perfect chance to put an early win in the column, something they managed to accomplish 19-14 despite some real missed opportunities in the first half.

Plenty of encouraging signs, for sure. But head coach Matt Rhule knows more will be needed against better opposition to keep the Panthers trending in the right direction.

Sunday’s clash against the New Orleans Saints at Bank of America Stadium will be a better measuring stick. Especially for Carolina’s explosive defensive front in the face of one of the best offensive lines in football.

If they can triumph and get themselves to 2-0, then hopes will increase regarding a surprise playoff berth in Year 2 of Rhule’s tenure.

Without further ado, here are five Panthers players with work to do following their Week 1 success.

Player No. 1

Carolina Panthers
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Pat Elflein /

Pat Elflein – Carolina Panthers OG

We’re not going to spend too much time on this, but Pat Elflein’s production needs to get better if the Panthers want to achieve their objectives in 2021.

If Matt Rhule is so insistent going with veteran players on the protection rather than promising rookies who aren’t quite ready, then Elflein needs to reward this faith with better consistency. Something he simply didn’t manage to achieve against his old team.

He’ll be in for a rough ride in Week 2 versus the Saints, who’ll identify Elflein as a player they can probably get a lot of pressure going up against. How he reacts to being targeted could have some big ramifications either way.