Carolina Panthers OL
The Carolina Panthers' offensive line has taken some fierce criticism throughout the season. They've regressed considerably after a promising 2022 campaign. This had a big impact on rookie quarterback Bryce Young's lack of production and something that didn't look to be getting better anytime soon.
Weirdly, the high winds and heavy rain played to the protection's strengths. Many on the unit don't look comfortable with their zone pass-blocking responsibilities. Adopting a power-rushing attack brought out the best in them in horrible conditions.
There were times with pressure arrived quickly in obvious pass-rushing situations. That's almost expected at this stage. But for once this season, the offensive line was not the cause of Carolina's demise.
They looked a lot more at ease with the offensive strategy. It's what became so successful under Steve Wilks and Ben McAdoo last season. Whether it's enough to maintain this ethos over the next few games is another matter.
After being constantly ridiculed throughout 2023, the Panthers line can take great heart from their Week 15 efforts. That merely papers over the cracks to a certain extent, but credit where it's due.
The way this group finished the game on the front foot on a stunning final drive rubber-stamped arguably their best performance of the campaign. Keeping this level of consistency before the curtain comes down on their regular-season engagements is the next challenge.