What were some major observations from the Carolina Panthers' loss at the New York Giants in Preseason Week 2?
The Carolina Panthers traveled to MetLife Stadium to take on the New York Giants hoping to gain clarity from a lackluster performance against the New York Jets to begin their 2023 preseason engagements.
Carolina played their starters, including rookie quarterback Bryce Young, Adam Thielen, and D.J. Chark. The Giants also featured most of their primary difference-makers such as Charlotte native Daniel Jones, Darren Waller, and Dexter Lawrence, so it was another test for the young Panthers squad.
The Giants dominated early, scoring a touchdown on their first drive. Carolina continued to struggle, failing to gain a first down after a neutral zone infraction. This marks their third consecutive scoreless drive in just two weeks.
It got a little better after that, even if the game did end with another defeat. With that said, here are five major observations from the warmup contest.
Carolina Panthers OL still needs tuning
The Carolina Panthers offensive line exhibited some progress during the game. However, certain lapses were still evident which merit attention and evaluation.
The absence of Austin Corbett during the preseason has been crucial. And the Panthers are scrambling for answers as the season draws closer.
Rookie Chandler Zavala could be a temporary option having a solid outing against a stout New York Giants defensive front. The same cannot be said for Ikem Ekwonu, who is still showing significant struggles in pass protection.
The second-year tackle gave up the only hit on quarterback Bryce Young, letting Kayvon Thibodeaux come free off the edge. Nothing to be overly concerned about, but this needs to be cleaned up quickly.
Bradley Bozeman - who had the toughest assignment of the night against Dexter Lawrence - found himself getting pushed back quite frequently back into the backfield. This made it tough for Young to properly process, forcing him to roll out and create his own looks.
It was a rough night overall for the offensive line. With little time between now and Week 1, the Panthers are hoping for this unit to step up big time.