One player that the Carolina Panthers got back this year who hasn't gotten much attention is Mike Tolbert. The fullback/running back was coming off his worst season of his career and many questioned, myself included, how much he has left in the tank. Well he is proving everyone wrong who may have had their doubts.
Tolbert is a jack of all trades for this backfield as he is a quality pass catcher, he is a big body capable of picking up those short yardage situations and can block both in the run game and pick up blitzers in pass protection. These were all on display Sunday night against the Eagles as he scored two touchdowns, one on the ground and through the air.
This is exactly what the Panthers need for this offense and was lacking a season ago when Tolbert missed half the season due to injury. He finished the year with career lows in yards per rush (2.1), first downs (4) and for the second time in his career he failed to score a touchdown.
Well this year, he looks rejuvenated as he has already passed last year's rushing total on 17 less carries (92 rushing yards), to go along with the two touchdowns and six first downs. As long as Tolbert keeps playing the way he is, the coaching staff needs to continue to find a way to get him 5-10 touches a game as he is another weapon at Cam Newton's disposal.
The Panthers right tackle Mike Remmers has yet to give up a sack since joining the Panthers, a streak that extended to 13 games on Sunday night against the Eagles, according to Pro Football Focus. There is a bit of a concerning trend though looking at the stats for Remmers as he has given up nine QB hurries the past two games after giving up seven over the first four games. Over the past two games, he has a rating of -8.8 with him struggling evenly between run and pass blocking.
Remmers, along with Michael Oher, are going to have their hands full as they will try to keep Colts' pass rusher Robert Mathis away from Newton. The Colts have tried to ease him back into the game as he works his way back from a torn Achilles suffered last year. Well, he looked explosive last week against the New Orleans Saints registering a sack on one of the first plays of the game. The Colts moved Mathis around with the sack coming from the right side but he then lined up against the left tackle the rest of their drive. The Panthers should expect this trend to continue and both offensive tackles will need to be ready to try and slow down Mathis.
The development, or lack there of, of wide receiver Philly Brown has to be disappointing for this coaching staff. The loss of Kelvin Benjamin provided a great opportunity for one of the other wide receivers on this roster to step up and try to fill the void. Well, Brown has certainly gotten plenty of playing time to make that happen but hasn't been able to produce the stats to justify the playing time.
Through Week 7, Brown has been on the field for 326 snaps and has played 58 more snaps than the next wide receiver on the Panthers, Ted Ginn Jr.. Even with all the time on the field, Brown's stat line is underwhelming with only 11 receptions, 133 receiving yards and one touchdown through seven weeks.
The Panthers offense desperately need a wide receiver on the outside to step up and this would be a great game for Brown to break out in.