- One of the biggest differences this year for the Carolina Panthers from last year is the fact that their starting offensive line has stayed healthy and played well. Against the Texans, the team had their starting five out there for all but two snaps. Guard Trai Turner was shaken up a bit and missed two plays but was able to finish the game.
- The Panthers also spent a majority of the game with at least two tight ends on the field. Greg Olsen played the entire game and Ed Dickson was on the field for 50 of the team’s 78 offensive plays. This could become the norm in 2015 as Dickson is a good pass catching threat and gives Newton another option on the field.
- The defense was without middle linebacker Luke Kuechly and the Panthers decided to revert back to 2014 where they played a majority of the game in the nickel defense with three cornerbacks and two linebackers on the field. The surprise was that it was rookie Shaq Thompson out there with Thomas Davis and not veteran A.J. Klein. After playing only 25% of the team’s snaps against the Jaguars, Thompson was on the field for almost half. This number could continue to rise as the season progresses.
- With the team using primarily two linebackers, it meant that the Panthers’ top three cornerbacks saw plenty of playing time. Josh Norman was on the field for every snap, followed by Bene Benwikere who played 92% of the game and Tillman playing 89%.
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