3 Panthers position groups that must step up vs. the Eagles in Week 5

(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Matt Paradis
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Matt Paradis /
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Carolina Panthers
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Robby Anderson /

Carolina Panthers WRs

This group has a two-fold purpose. D.J. Moore is slowly cementing himself as a top-five wide receiver in the NFL. Robby Anderson has the speed to take the top off the defense, and Terrace Marshall Jr. was a solid addition in the draft.

In the first three games of the season, Anderson was only targeted 11 times. He matched that total against the Dallas Cowboys in Week 4.

Moore is fourth in the league in receiving yards – although Cooper Kupp has an extra game on everyone – fourth in yards-per-game, and ninth in yards after the catch.

If this trio, with fill-in play by Brandon Zylstra and potentially Shi Smith, can produce a few explosive plays and keep drives alive, red zone opportunities will present themselves and will ideally limit the number of touches running back Christian McCaffrey if he is active, which appears unlikely at this juncture as the Carolina Panthers are rightfully erring on the side of caution.

Hamstrings can be a tricky injury to manage, so keeping McCaffrey from aggravating that injury further is paramount.

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Back in Charlotte, the Panthers have a tough battle ahead of them. Both squads will attempt to erase last week’s poor play, so Carolina will need to win at the line of scrimmage, not come out flat in the third quarter, and pressure Jalen Hurts consistently to reach 4-1.