5 surprising positives from the Panthers victory vs. Saints in Week 3

(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Chris Tabor
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Chris Tabor /
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Carolina Panthers
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Eddy Pineiro /

Carolina Panthers K Eddy Piniero stayed perfect

I’m sure I wasn’t alone in being extremely worried when Carolina Panthers kicker Zane Gonzalez went down with a season-ending groin injury in the final preseason game. This left the franchise looking for a replacement with just a fortnight until their regular-season opener and with few options to choose from.

The Panthers brought in kickers for workouts and settled on someone with previous experience working with new special teams coordinator Chris Tabor during their time together on the Chicago Bears.

A quick look at Eddy Pineiro’s stats shows promise. Before this season, he was 32 for 36 on field goals and 36 of 39 on extra point attempts, which wasn’t enough for the player to secure football before Carolina came calling.

Had it not been for injuries, Pineiro likely wouldn’t have bounced around the league the way he has. But the kicker has been lights out since joining the Panthers, going 7-for-7 on field goals and nailing all five of his extra points for good measure.

We’ve seen the benefit of Tabor’s relationship with Pineiro. This may have gone some way to help the player settle into his new surroundings.

If Pineiro continues to kick as well as he has done in the opening portion of the season, the Panthers may have a decision to make next offseason when Gonzalez is healthy again.