The Carolina Panthers opened their preseason slate with a 17-12 loss at Baltimore last night. As far as preseason games go this was pretty much standard protocol. The starters barely played, it was sloppy at times and both coaches were happy that no one was seriously injured.
I would rather watch the reruns of Hard Knocks than any NFL preseason game. I care that little about them. Many of the guys that played last night will not even be on the team this time next month.
With that said, I was watching last night with tempered curiosity about some of the new faces in Carolina. Former Greenwood High and Appalachian State star Armanti Edwards has a respectable debut. He caught a couple of passes and returned four punts and one kick off. Although he didn’t do anything spectacular, he did look pretty comfortable and you can see why the Panthers are so high on him.
The Panthers offense didn’t score a touchdown but it did move the ball pretty well. They picked up 16 first downs and had more total yards than the Ravens. Some costly penalties ended a couple of solid scoring opportunities. Quarterback Matt Moore didn’t have great numbers but was relatively efficient. Jimmy Clausen showed flashes of potential in his debut. DeAngelo Williams also had a couple of nice runs early.
The defense was pretty steady all night. The unit scored the team’s only touchdown on a 31 yard fumble return by C.J. Wilson in the third quarter.
I still think this team has a chance to be terrible this season. I hope that’s not the case, but the potential is certainly there. So many new and young and inexperienced players is always a tough bet in the NFL. However, last night they didn’t look at terrible. Far from it in fact.