5 major factors behind Carolina Panthers’ win at the Falcons in Week 8

Dean Jones
(Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports) Stephon Gilmore
(Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports) Stephon Gilmore /
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Carolina Panthers
(Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports) Stephon Gilmore /

Stephon Gilmore’s incredible Carolina Panthers debut

It’s been a long time coming.

But Stephon Gilmore made his Carolina Panthers debut one to remember.

The All-Pro cornerback was an absolute revelation despite missing the last 10 months with a torn quad. Gilmore didn’t miss a step and provided the Panthers with a solid man coverage presence that’s been hard to find at times since stud rookie Jaycee Horn went out with a broken foot.

Gilmore was matched up against Kyle Pitts plenty throughout the game. Not exactly the most enviable of tasks considering how much of a tear the tight-end phenom has been on of late.

However, this is a responsibility Gilmore thrived in and the absence of Calvin Ridley for personal reasons allowed Carolina to send plenty of assistance in Pitts’ direction when required.

Big players come up with the goods at big moments.

Something that Gilmore was able to do late in the contest with a key interception that all but ended the Panthers’ concerning losing run.

This will be a massive confidence boost for Gilmore to come through his debut unscathed. And the former South Carolina stud will need no extra motivation next weekend when he takes on his former team on his home debut.

Related Story. Carolina Panthers: 5 crucial observations from Sam Darnold’s performance at the Falcons. light

It’s just one game. But the Panthers getting Gilmore on the cheap already looks to be a shrewd bit of business.