5 Panthers players who didn’t meet expectations vs. Browns in Week 1

(Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images) Yetur Gross-Matos
(Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images) Yetur Gross-Matos /
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Which Carolina Panthers players failed to meet expectations during the team’s disappointing loss against the Cleveland Browns in Week 1?

The weather was better than anticipated and the atmosphere inside Bank of America Stadium was palpable as the Carolina Panthers began their quest for improvements against the Cleveland Browns. A contest that came with plenty of hype following Baker Mayfield’s trade from one side to the other this offseason.

Carolina’s chances are hanging by a thread in 2022 despite significant acquisitions to the roster and the coaching staff. The Browns have playoff aspirations of their own despite not having marquee arrival Deshaun Watson for the opening 11 games due to suspension.

One could cut the tension with a knife. But at the end of the day, Carolina could not overcome a poor start en route to their eighth-straight defeat.

That said, here are five Panthers players who failed to meet expectations in Week 1.

Player No. 1

Carolina Panthers
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Pat Elflein /

Pat Elflein – Carolina Panthers OL

From a blocking standpoint, it was an indifferent day overall for Pat Elflein. But multiple botched snaps and very little faith in the offensive lineman from fans indicate his time as a starter could be coming to an end.

The Carolina Panthers opted to start Elflein over Bradley Bozeman, who only recently returned from injury. Based on the former Ohio State star’s performance, head coach Matt Rhule might make the expected change as soon as this week at the New York Giants.

Elflein is a serviceable backup that can play multiple positions. But if the Panthers want to stand any chance of immediate improvements, he must be removed from a prominent role.