5 crucial takeaways from Panthers dominant Week 2 win vs. the Saints

(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Christian McCaffrey
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Christian McCaffrey /
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Carolina Panthers
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Zane Gonzalez /

Carolina Panthers must solve their issues at kicker

When former Arizona State kicker Zane Gonzalez signed off the Detroit Lions practice squad this past week he became the third Carolina Panthers starting kicker in a very short space of time.

Coming into camp and preseason Joey Slye was the guy. However, after well-publicized struggles in the preseason, Matt Rhule brought in Dominik Eberle – who is currently on the practice squad – and after a kicking contest in camp in which the German kicker seemed to come out on top.

However, with reservations on his leg strength, Eberle was waived and general manager Scott Fitterer traded for New York Giants reserve kicker Ryan Santoso, who just lost the kicking job to former Panther Graham Gano.

Confusing I know.

After some more missed kicks from Slye in the preseason finale, Santoso won the job.

Just a week later after the season opener Santoso went 2-2 on field goals and 1-2 on extra points but was still waived.

And then we arrive at Gonzalez who went 2-3 with one blocked field goal and 2-3 on extra points in Week 2.

However, the glaring issue was that Gonzalez failed to record a single touchback on his kickoffs, and with Eberle waived due to reservations on his leg strength this doesn’t bode well for the former Cleveland Brown.

To rub salt into Carolina wounds they saw former Panther Gano make all five of his field-goal attempts for the Giants on Thursday Night Football to move his streak to 35.

Must Read. Carolina Panthers: 5 key observations from Sam Darnold’s performance vs. Saints in Week 2. light

With Carolina having a short game week before traveling to the Houston Texans on Thursday, Gonzalez may have bought himself an extra week. But who’ll be taking the kickoff for the Panthers’ next home game on October 10 against the Minnesota Vikings is anyone’s guess.