Winner No. 2
Carolina Panthers OL
After getting some severe and perhaps unwarranted criticism throughout the preseason, there was an added spotlight on the offensive line. Especially considering the Carolina Panthers opted to start rookie fourth-rounder Chandler Zavala in place of the injured Austin Corbett.
Any fears were alleviated in no uncertain terms with a comprehensive and efficient performance in Week 1. The protection was nothing short of exceptional throughout the game aside from one or two errors, which came late in proceedings when the Panthers were obviously going to pass the football.
Zavala was extremely impressive in his first NFL start. Grady Jarrett smelled blood and lined up over the North Carolina State product almost constantly, which was a challenge he was more than ready for during an accomplished display.
Taylor Moton and Ikem Ekwonu were outstanding bookend presences - especially in pass protection. Brady Christensen more than held his own and Bradley Bozeman provided the sort of veteran assurance fans came to expect from the center once he was installed into the lineup last season.
Carolina's superb offensive line made their lack of efficiency on this side of the football even more disappointing. If the coaching staff works out some kinks and the protection in front of Bryce Young remains to this standard as the campaign progresses, things should improve.