Bryce Young's red-zone conviction
One thing that had been missing from Bryce Young's performances throughout the preseason was points. Leading a scoring drive was arguably his biggest remaining objective before attention turned to a competitive NFL debut at the Atlanta Falcons in Week 1.
Thankfully, Young ticked off this box in a comfortable fashion. He began the game by taking the Carolina Panthers downfield before settling for a field goal that was converted by the returning Eddy Pineiro - swiftly followed by the first touchdown drive of his professional career.
Young delivered an absolute dart to Adam Thielen, who brought it in effortlessly as expected for the score. This was enough for Frank Reich to call it a night with the new face of the franchise, who ended the game with a 103.8 passer rating as a result of his outstanding efforts.
This was another step in the right direction for Young, who didn't put the ball in harm's way at any stage during his preseason involvement. There's a lot of hard work ahead and competitive games will see a few bumps in the road, but the Panthers might have something special on their hands and everyone is starting to recognize it.
Young knows that preseason means nothing and he's got to prove himself all over again against professionals who'd love nothing more than to make the signal-caller look foolish. This mindset is precisely what the Panthers need to start trending in the right direction at last.