Panthers All-22: 4 overlooked thoughts from Week 2 loss at NY Giants
By Dean Jones
Carolina Panthers OL showed signs of life
It’s easy to scapegoat the Carolina Panthers’ offensive line. This has been a major weak link over the previous two seasons under Matt Rhule and although things weren’t perfect at the New York Giants, the process is slowly starting to gel for the much-improved unit.
The Panthers invested heavily in their protection this offseason. Although the Giants were missing two prominent starting pass-rushers in their 3-4 scheme, it was arguably one of the best outings this group has put together since Rhule took charge.
Austin Corbett demonstrated what he can bring to the Panthers after an indifferent Week 1 outing against the Cleveland Browns. He was dependable on running downs and the pass protection was outstanding more often than not en route to giving up just one hurry.
Taylor Moton, Brady Christensen, and even Pat Elflein performed up to their credentials. However, there are some clear growing pains where 2022 first-round pick Ikem Ekwonu is concerned, which isn’t entirely unexpected given his lack of experience.
Ekwonu gave up a crucial sack in another key moment along with two hurries. But considering how he fared in the face of Myles Garrett last weekend, it was encouraging overall.
What’s most important moving forward is quarterback Baker Mayfield remaining composed in the pocket. At times, the signal-caller brought pressure on himself, which should progress the more familiar he becomes with those in front of him.