4 shocking Panthers stats that need to improve in Week 2 vs. Saints

(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Joseph Charlton
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Joseph Charlton /
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Carolina Panthers
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Taylor Moton /

Carolina Panthers OL’s 20 percent pass-blocking success rate

The questions surrounding protection where the Carolina Panthers are concerned were there for all to see long before they took the field for a competitive snap. A patchwork group of veterans came with its own set of worries, even though the organization did manage to tie down stud right tackle Taylor Moton down to a long-term deal just minutes before the franchise tag deadline.

As it turned out, these fears were confirmed pretty early on against the New York Jets.

Carolina’s defense was in a ruthless mood throughout. Had they not been, the result might have been a very different story after the offensive line put quarterback Sam Darnold under more duress than head coach Matt Rhule wanted to see.

This didn’t matter. But it will this weekend versus the New Orleans Saints if things don’t turn around pretty drastically.

According to stats, the Panthers finished dead-last across the league in pass-blocking success with just 20 percent. That’s one in five for anybody keeping track and more than a little concerning.

Fortunately, Christian McCaffrey picked up a missed assignment from Dennis Daley en route to Darnold throwing deep for a Robby Anderson touchdown. But the former USC man was forced to get the ball out extremely quickly and demonstrated real courage by staying in the pocket and delivering good throws with someone in his face.

Although Marcus Davenport won’t be taking the field on Sunday, the Saints still have enough on their defensive front to cause Carolina untold problems if adjustments aren’t made.