4 critical observations from the Panthers’ dominant win vs. Lions

(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Steve Wilks
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Steve Wilks /
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Carolina Panthers
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Eddy Pineiro /

Eddy Pineiro remains automatic

Another player who deserves untold praise for their turnaround is Eddy Pineiro. After his horror show on the road against the Atlanta Falcons where his two costly misses contributed to a gut-wrenching loss, the player has been automatic, making 17 straight field goals.

During that time, Pineiro’s only miss has been a single extra point during the Carolina Panthers win over Atlanta on Thursday Night Football, which was played in a tropical storm. So the player deserves credit for the way he has bounced back after a tough performance.

Steve Wilks should also take the plaudits. It would have been easy for the interim head coach to be reactionary after that Atlanta loss and part ways with the kicker, but he immediately threw his support behind the former Florida star and has been repaid by some flawless efforts over the second half of 2022.

As Pineiro continues to impress, this leaves the Panthers with a real conundrum during what promises to be a fascinating 2023 off-season. With the current kicker out of contract and Zane Gonzalez set to return from injury, Carolina has a big decision to make.

If Pineiro ends the season strongly, Gonzalez may find himself as a casualty after suffering two season-ending injuries in consecutive years.

That might seem harsh, but the NFL is a business and there is no room for sentiment when it comes to building a roster capable of challenging for honors.