As we review Week One, here are some things to take away from Carolina's loss at home:
Tahir Whitehead is not a coverage linebacker
Many Raiders fans tried to tell us that Whitehead is strictly a run stuffer, and couldn't cover worth at all. This is probably why they went out and grabbed Cory Littleton and Nick Kwiatkowski in the offseason. Anyways, during the game at 2 key moments, Tahir committed penalties that cost us a first down. I expect Whitehead to try to improve on that in Week Two as the Bucs running backs are quick. However, he is 30 so he's probably already past his prime. Regardless, Whitehead needs to step in Week Two.
Rasul Douglas and Jeremy Chinn were bright spots in the secondary
Jeremy Chinn is by far my favorite rookie, showing the versatility that the coaching staff values. He got 8 tackles, which is 2nd most by a Carolina rookie in their debut. Chinn made a touchdown-saving tackle right near the goal line, displaying great tackling that the rest of the defense seemed to lack in their first game of the season. I expect him to improve and outperform his draft status as the season goes on. Only arriving last Wednesday, Douglas quickly soaked up the playbook and ended playing a significant role on Sunday after Donte Jackson's early exit. He has good length at 6'2 and will likely start against Tampa.
Christian McCaffrey is key
In the first half, the Panthers seemed more focused on getting the passing game going. McCaffrey didn't start going until the second half. From there, the run set up the pass and the Panthers started a comeback that ultimately fell short, but showed the offense' potential under Joe Brady. The one thing that I was surprised about is that McCaffrey was targeted only 4 times in the passing game, which doesn't make since given that Christian is one of the best pass-catching backs in the league. Feed CMC the ball!
Teddy Bridgewater was efficient
Teddy moved the ball methodically down the field in his Panthers debut, distributing the ball to his receivers and tight ends. While some of his ball placement needed some work, I expect that will improve as they continue to build chemistry on the field together. I believe that Teddy performed as most people thought he would, but I think he can be better than that as he progresses through the season.
Robby Anderson's signing is already starting to pay off
Robby Anderson was by far the best receiver on the field Sunday, hauling in 6 receptions for 115 yards. His most notable play was definitely a 75 yard catch-and-run touchdown, where he made a few guys miss on his way to the endzone. It's clear that Robby and Teddy have some chemistry together, as Robby Anderson was catching almost everything that Bridgewater was throwing his way.
These were my takeaways from this week. The Panthers should definitely be tested in their Week Two matchup against the Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Leave your comments down below.