5 things we learned about the Carolina Panthers in Week 1

(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Robby Anderson
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Robby Anderson /
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Carolina Panthers
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Jaycee Horn /

Carolina Panthers played complimentary defense and shut the Jets down

Early on the Carolina Panthers’ defense dominated the New York Jets rookie quarterback. Even once Zach Wilson settled in, Phil Snow’s unit limited the rookie playing soft coverage and getting stops when they had to.

Brian Burns and Haason Reddick each put the quarterback on the ground and consistently were applying pressure. This defensive unit looks as if it has taken a step forward from last year.

Their pressure was consistent and relentless and the secondary appeared to be improved with the offseason additions made by the Panthers in free agency and the 2021 NFL Draft.

Jaycee Horn had both good and bad moments in his debut, finishing the day with two tackles and a solid effort against marginal Jets receivers outside of No. 1 option Corey Davis.

Carolina’s defense played well above their talent level last season, speaking to the quality of coaching and their execution.

While there was always the chance they took a step back this season if Week 1 was any indication, the opposite is the case for a team who is going to be a wildcard contender this season.