4 Panthers players who surprised in preseason win at Commanders

(Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) Sam Darnold
(Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) Sam Darnold /
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Which Carolina Panthers players produced surprising contributions during the team’s preseason win at the Washington Commanders?

The Carolina Panthers started the preseason off the right way with a 23-21 triumph over the Washington Commanders. They jumped out to a lead early before a Sam Howell-led comeback forced rookie Matt Corral to lead a game-winning drive.

Despite Corral putting the team in a position to win the game, his performance was far from positive. The rookie looked shaken and out of place, unable to let go of the ball and often making the wrong reads when he did get enough time to throw.

The story of this game for Washington is the opposite, with Howell leading two touchdown drives to put the team up 21-20 late. Two penalties on the Commanders’ defense and a nice ground game from the Panthers put flawless kicker Zane Gonzalez in position to drill the final points of an entertaining affair.

Obviously, the win is meaningless at this stage. But it is an encouraging start to an all-important campaign for head coach Matt Rhule.

Corral was the one obvious negative for a team that had a solid day. With this in mind, let’s take a look at some of the surprises for the Panthers in their first preseason game ahead of the 2022 season.