It is hard to imagine that a player of Thomas Davis' caliber has never played in a Pro Bowl, but that streak looks to be coming to an end in 2015. The Carolina Panthers outside linebacker has been playing at an incredibly high level and was rated as the best outside linebacker in a 4-3 defense in Week 14, according to Pro Football Focus.
Davis has always been considered an excellent tackler but the one knock on him, fair or unfair, was that he wasn't getting pressure on the quarterback on a regular basis. The outside linebacker position has developed into one where you are expected to be a good pass rusher.
Well, the 11-year veteran is certainly showing that side of his game this year with a career high 5.5 sacks through only 13 games, with 2.5 sacks coming over the past three games.
The former first round pick has had an up and down career, one that included three ACL tears, but he is playing some of the best football of his career and this Panthers' team has benefited greatly from it.
Ted Ginn Jr.
Well the veteran wide receiver put that behind him and had another two touchdown performance to go along with 120 receiving yards, all in the first half. More importantly, he did not have any drops this game.
The nine-year veteran has found tremendous success in Carolina and in two seasons he has 73 receptions, 1,201 receiving yards and 13 touchdowns compared to 175 receptions, 2,238 receiving yards and six touchdowns in seven seasons.
Ginn has been one of the reasons why the Panthers' offense has been so successful. While they are primarily a running team, Ginn's explosive ability allows the Panthers' and Cam Newton take shots down the field and beat teams over the top.
This is not necessarily directed at a specific player because right now Josh Norman is playing the best of any player in the league. However, in a league that has become reliant on the passing game, defenses need three good cornerbacks and the Panthers can't say that.
Against the Falcons, Bene Benwikere suffered a fractured leg that will cost him the rest of the season and have been without Charles Tillman for four straight games due to a knee injury. They helped diminish some of the lost with the addition of Cortland Finnegan, who has looked in his past two games. However, they had to sign him due to Colin Jones struggling as the team's nickelback.
The team did sign Robert McClain on Tuesday, who played three years with the Falcons, however like Finnegan teams don't always know what they are getting with a player who hasn't played this year.
If Tillman is able to come back sooner rather than later, it will be a major boost for this team but if the report from Bill Voth at Black and Blue Review is true that Tillman has a partially torn ACL, the 2015 season will most likely be over for him.
This is a position that could be in serious trouble down the stretch and into the playoffs if McClain is not able to step into the role and produce.